Adirondack Futures presents findings to Essex County board

Dave Mason and Jim Herman of Adirondack Futures address members of the Essex County Board of Supervisors Nov. 5.

Dave Mason and Jim Herman of Adirondack Futures address members of the Essex County Board of Supervisors Nov. 5. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— Herman also talked about tourism.

“The tourism industry in the Adirondack Park is old and there has not been many upgrades,” he said. “There are not the amenities today here that visitors want. We need to attract a more diverse set of visitors. All these things mean that we need to change access in the forest preserve and have new kind of amenities in our communities.”

When it came to jobs, Herman said that the park has to take advantage of new technology, like broadband internet, to promote not only tele-business but education.

“This plan does emphasize strengthening our communities,” Herman added. “We want them to be vibrant and thriving and we want them to attract new people to the park and we want them to be welcoming. Slight changes in zoning and APA regulations that allows for more clustering development that keeps things closer to the hamlets. Its time to stop talking about shutting down schools throughout the park and talk about networking the schools together.”

“It has made a big difference for our school system and it has made a big difference in the town,” Keene Supervisor William Ferebee said. “People have been able to stay here longer and spend their money locally.”

Herman said that a lot of their approach is in place with the North Country Economic Development Council.

Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava was reluctant to embrace the report.

“The facts are since the inception of the Adirondack park, only three manufacturing jobs have moved into the Adirondack Park,” Scozzafava said. “What the rest of the country has been going through, we have been going through for the last 40 years. The big problem when the bridge closed was that our constituents have to travel to Vermont for a job. Our tax base remains stagnant and why does it, because it is so hard to try and build a home here. Let's deal with all of the facts here. Our young people are leaving here. How do we retain people who have lived here for generations.”

“We have tried to put together a vision of the kind of business that we can attract here and the kind of business that can grow here,” Herman said.

“Yes, there has not been the growth and we have to fix that,” Mason added.

For more, visit the website adkfutures.org.

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