Jan. 24—TICONDEROGA — Improving Ticonderoga's downtown business district is about to get a $10 million boost from the state.
New York State Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez came to the Ticonderoga Community Building Monday to announce the award and present Town Supervisor Mark Wright with a giant commemorative check.
"One of the things we recognize is that some communities have been overlooked and underinvested in," Rodriguez said just before announcing the big award to Ticonderoga.
"Ticonderoga is a hub for outdoor recreation surrounded by the natural beauty of the Adirondacks, making it an ideal destination for travelers from all across the state and country to enjoy," Rodriguez said in his presentation.
BRINGING THE GOOD NEWS
"This funding through the Downtown Revitalization Initiative will help realize Ticonderoga's vision of connecting its downtown to the surrounding recreational opportunities while also drawing on the town's deep historic roots to enhance public spaces and attractions.
"I look forward to seeing the transformational plan Ticonderoga creates to restore its downtown neighborhood. I like coming and bringing the good news."
A crowd seated in the Community Building auditorium gave the announcement a standing ovation as Rodriguez spoke.
The town was the North Country winner of the sixth round of the state's Downtown Revitalization Initiative.
Ticonderoga will start the process of developing a Strategic Investment Plan to revitalize its downtown using up to $300,000 in planning funds from the $10 million grant.
The Strategic Investment Plan will examine local assets and identify economic development, transportation, housing, and community projects that align with Ticonderoga's vision for downtown revitalization and that are possible for implementation, Rodriguez said.
The town has been the victim of "economic decline," Wright said.
"Ticonderoga greatly appreciates the State of New York giving us this opportunity to really make a change in the town," Wright said. "We look forward to seeing our vision of economic revitalization completed. This opportunity not only benefits our downtown corridor, but the entirety of Ticonderoga as well as the surrounding municipalities and this region of Essex County."
A BETTER PLACE TO LIVE
The town's Economic Development Committee attended the presentation in the Community Building, and Wright said they will be working hard over "the next six months to pull this together."
"Many of you are going to get called," to join a planning committee made up of municipal representatives, community leaders and business owners who will write the plan, supported by private sector experts and state planners, Wright said..
"I look forward to making Ticonderoga better place to live," he concluded.
North Country Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chair James McKenna was at the ceremony.
"Under Governor (Kathy) Hochul's leadership, New York's investments in the North Country are sparking new interest and new development in our communities," McKenna said.
"The Downtown Revitalization Initiative continues to support and generate new economic growth in communities throughout the North Country and New York State. Ticonderoga has a rich and unique history that welcomes countless residents and visitors alike, and serves as a centerpiece for the town's strategic plan, and we're proud to support their selection."
State Sen. Dan Stec (R-Queensbury) praised the award to Ticonderoga.
"Ticonderoga continues to grow and develop its downtown," said Stec in a release. "The $10 million from the Downtown Revitalization Initiative will further these efforts and ensure Ticonderoga remains a hub of economic and recreational activities for Adirondack Park residents and visitors alike for years to come."
State Assemblyman Matt Simpson (R-Brant Lake) also endorsed the grant to Ticonderoga.
"The people of Ticonderoga are some of the hardest working families and individuals in the North Country," Simpson said in a news release. "They carry a widely shared vision of what their town aspires to become. This Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant signals a belief in this vision from those watching from afar. With these resources, Ticonderoga will take a giant leap forward to realizing many of the goals laid out to highlight the truly vibrant community it really is."
Once the planning committee identifies signature projects that have potential and can leverage further private and public investments, the State Department of State will then award the funds to those projects with the greatest potential to jumpstart revitalization and realize the community's vision, Rodriguez said.