Grants eyed for upcounty development

— A regional micro-enterprise fund may have money available for a small-scale sewer system in downtown Chestertown, an area development official told local entrepreneurs this week.

Glens Falls Economic & Community Development Director Edward Bartholomew was guest speaker at a meeting of the Tri-Lakes Business Alliance held Friday, Jan. 27 at the Panther Mountain Inn.

Bartholomew explained that the Adirondack Gateway Council, of which he is a member, is an action-oriented group, similar to the upcounty Tri-Lakes Alliance, but on a larger scale. The Council is a consortium of municipalities in Warren, Washington and northern Saratoga counties that's developing a regional plan for housing, transportation, broadband, sustainable living and economic development.

Besides advancing upcounty municipal projects, the council can provide assistance in economic development through loans to new businesses, he said.

Also, it was noted at he meeting that the North Warren area was designated a National Heritage Area through 2021, and Warren County planner Wayne LaMothe will be looking into what opportunities this designation presents, particularly in regards to publicity for our local towns.

The Alliance’s Signage Committee has proposed erecting new matching signs at the entrance to Chestertown, Pottersville, Brant Lake and Adirondack, calling attention to the area’s history. The committee members are meeting soon with Chester Supervisor Fred Monroe and state Sen. Betty Little to discuss funding for the signs.

The aim is to keep the signage consistent for the upcounty towns with a possible slogan of “History Lives Here.” Placed at entrances to towns and on Northway exit ramps, the signs would bear the names local businesses and points of interest. The committee members are also looking into streetlight banners, which could be sponsored by businesses in the respective host towns.

It was reported that members of the Alliance are moving forward on establishing a farmers market in Chestertown. The Becklers of Stone Bridge & Caves are planning to host a similar offering in Pottersville this summer, and Alliance members said they’d work on coordinating the two markets. Potential Chestertown sites are in front of the Chester Town Hall and at the barn and fields behind Main Street Ice Cream Parlor.

It was explained at the meeting that every extra person attending the Alliance meetings represents $15 earned toward the Main Street Enhancement project, due to matching grants pledged toward the work.

A suggestion was made to investigate the feasibility of changing the speed limit to a consistent maximum at all town entrances. Petitions calling for such changes need to be submitted to the respective town boards, which then relay the requests to the county and state authorities.

The next meeting of the Tri-Lakes Business Alliance is set for 9 a.m. Friday, Feb. 10.

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