Revitalize Keeseville group is still going strong

— Looking toward that brighter future, attendees at the meeting discussed ways to draw more people into Keeseville, like improving signage throughout the village.

Engelhart noted that as many as 100,000 people visit Ausable Chasm every year, and called that statistic a “missed opportunity” for the village.

To that end, a bad reputation is something Revitalize Keeseville has been trying to change, but the recent death of Robert Rennie, 45, of Keeseville, which State Police have confirmed was a homicide, hasn’t helped.

The issue of safety was a major concern at the meeting and sparked a conversation about starting a neighborhood watch group in the village.

Neighborhood clean-up days, a fundraiser to raise money for new trash receptacles, benches and flower boxes downtown, and holiday decorations were also discussed as ways to create a friendlier, more welcoming Keeseville.

Engelhart urged people to “vote with their wallets” and support local businesses, and said that a buy local program and a renewed Keeseville website are two things Revitalize Keeseville should focus on in the future.

He also suggested attendees imagine a village with a thriving civic center, a place where people come to visit museums and artists flock to paint, perhaps by the river as it courses through downtown.

Engelhart’s vision included a busy downtown with restaurants and shops that could draw visitors from places like Lake Placid and Ausable Chasm, and he thinks it could happen soon.

“What I’m most proud about is I sense a change in the attitude of people about the village,” Engelhart said. “I think there’s been a subtle positive change around that, and that’s a very good thing. That can have all kinds of big spin-off effects.”

The next Revitalize Keeseville meeting will be held at the Grange Hall on Main Street in Keeseville on Oct. 24 at 5 p.m.

For more information, call Engelhart at 834-9328.

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