TICONDEROGA, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Downtown Revitalization funding is big news. For a city like Glens Falls, which was awarded $10 million in 2016, the ensuing years have been full of gifts to small businesses, and ambitions surrounding a farmer’s market building that has changed in scale and scope since the start.
North of all of those communities, one more is hoping to take its own turn. At the northern tip of Lake George, Ticonderoga is gathering the necessary voices to order its own slice of revitalization.
“Everything is fair game in terms of improvements,” said Ticonderoga Town Supervisor Mark Wright. “Sprucing up the buildings, doing any kind of repairs that are required; just about anything that makes the downtown area more attractive to visitors and residents.”
The town of Ticonderoga is putting together an application package for DRI funding, and has assembled a committee that is looking at what kinds of projects the town would like to invite. All sorts of ideas will be heard, but one term that Wright is quick to use is “shovel-ready,” meaning that even those that would require new construction are on the table.
The full gamut can include new businesses or existing ones that want to expand or upgrade. That can mean anything from new equipment to a whole space. The town wants to focus on its downtown district, which runs along Montcalm Street from Fort Ticonderoga to the Liberty Monument – along with anything within a 10 minute walk from there. The hope is to create change that will better life for residents, as well as for the wave of tourism that Ticonderoga sees as a historic lakeside community, drawn by Fort Ticonderoga, the Star Trek Original Series Set Tour, and more.
So far, much dialogue has been had between current and prospective future business owners and three groups. The Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce, Pride of Ticonderoga and the Ti Alliance have all been having those meetings, and will play an important role in what comes next.
“They’re basically the town’s unofficial arms for getting into those areas and researching that information, providing that information to prospective entrepreneurs. We work very closely with those groups to make things happen,” said Wright.
That’s only the start of the public input process. The Ticonderoga community is invited to two open house events to join the conversation – one virtual, the other in-person. The virtual “Live Webinar” event is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 7, and will be followed by a virtual open house lasting through to June 21. An in-person event is set from 4-7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 14, at Ticonderoga Elk’s Lodge. Registration and more information can be found on the town’s newly-launched DRI website.
Ticonderoga is also planning to launch an informational video on the DRI process, as well as a DRI Community Survey. The DRI application that Ticonderoga will send to the state must include examples of past, current and future investments being made into the community.
“This is your chance to dig in, dream big, and help shape the future of Downtown for your community,” said Pride of Ticonderoga Executive Director Elisha Bartlett. “All improvements made to Downtown will provide ripple effects throughout Ticonderoga and into neighboring communities. We’re so excited to work on this for Ticonderoga residents and visitors. We truly hope to move the needle ahead for Economic and Community Development by providing greater fortifications to enhance the vibrancy and resilience of Downtown.”
When funds are awarded, communities aren’t on their own to decide how to use them. Should Ticonderoga win DRI funding, the state will provide technical assistance to plan ahead for what big move comes next for the Lake George-adjacent town.