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Ti seeks grant for sawmill project

TICONDEROGA-Ticonderoga has applied for an Adirondack Park Community Smart Growth Planning Grant in hopes of getting its 18th Century sawmill project off the ground.

The town is seeking $40,000 for planning and engineering for the project.

The proposed replica sawmill would be a centerpiece of the Ticonderoga Quality Destination Plan.

A French sawmill sat on the north side of the LaChute River near the falls in 1758. Plans call for it to be reconstructed with grant money.

The sawmill will be a tourist attraction, drawing visitors to downtown Ticonderoga, according to officials.

Local officials have checked with regulatory agencies and there are no roadblocks to the construction - except funding. Local leaders are confident grant money can be found for the project.

The sawmill project is one of the "highest priorities" of the Ticonderoga Quality Destination Plan. The plan has been formed by a group of local volunteers and a professional consultant. It includes 11 actions designed to boost local business through tourism.

The sawmill will be operational, making specialized items for sale. The set up will be similar the authentic 18th Century sawmill operations in Taylor, N.H., and Sturbridge Village, Mass.

The town of Ticonderoga will own and operate the planned sawmill, although officials stress it will be constructed with grant money and will be self-sufficient once built. No local tax money will be used for the project, he said.

The Smart Growth Grants are administered by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The DEC announced in October 2010 that about $500,000 from the Environmental Protection Fund will be available to fund the projects, which are required to be consistent with Smart Growth principles.

In October 2007, the DEC announced that $1 million from the EPF would be available for Smart Growth planning projects in the Adirondack Park. In all, 50 applications were filed, requesting $3 million, and 18 projects were awarded funding.

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