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Ribbon to be cut for completed waterfront development project

ROUSES POINT The efforts of many within the village of Rouses Point to create an attractive downtown waterfront area have dated back more than a decade but have finally come to fruition. The village will celebrate a ribbon-cutting for the redevelopment project along the Montgomery Street waterfront Friday, June 27, officially marking the completion of improvements to the village board launch, development of a shoreline walkway, and construction of a scenic pier and pavilion. Community development consultant Melissa McManus said the project initiated with the formation of a citizens group that began collaborating with village leaders in 1997. That same year, the village participated in the creation of the 1997 Essex/Clinton County Local Waterfront Revitalization Program, funded by the Department of State Division of Coastal Resources. The following year, the village received a $200,000 Empire State Development Corporation Waterfront Revitalization grant to begin implementation of its proposed projects on the publicly-owned lakefront on Montgomery Street. Working with various state agencies and other entities, the project began to take flight in 2005, when a concept plan was created that ultimately became what is seen on Montgomery Street today. This is the culmination of a decade of efforts on the part of the residents and the staff of the village of Rouses Point, and, of course, the village board, said McManus. Mayor George A. Rivers commended the work of those involved with the initiative, calling the revitalization effort one great project for the village of Rouses Point. Im at a loss for words because I never thought wed see the day where wed have something like this for the village. Its been a long time coming, the mayor said. One of the most scenic routes in New York State is in the village of Rouses Point along Lake Champlain and this village has never really capitalized on that. This will hopefully change that by bringing tourism to our village. While there will be an emphasis on promoting tourism, there will also be the added benefit of having something more to offer the people of Rouses Point for years to come, essentially accomplishing two goals with the project, said McManus. My philosophy on revitalization is that you really need to keep both of your goals in mind, said McManus. Its very nice to promote tourism and encourage people to come into our community so they can support our businesses, but its also important to improve the quality of life for your residents so they can enjoy the beauty of our lakefront. We feel weve accomplished both goals in terms of this project. The overall cost of the project is estimated at more than $1 million, said McManus. However, that amount was reached through a combination of state grant funding and in-kind services at the village level, she said, eliminating the financial burden for taxpayers. Its a pretty amazing accomplishment, said McManus. The ribbon-cutting ceremony will begin at 11:30 a.m., at which local leaders and those who have contributed toward the project are expected to be in attendance.

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