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Downtown $10M revitalization project proceeds ADVERTISEMENT

Downtown $10M revitalization project proceeds

WATKINS GLEN--Kristin VanHorn, director of planning for Schuyler County spoke at the Harbor Hotel Monday, Oct. 30 regarding the plans for the $10 million in funds to revitalize the downtown area of Watkins Glen.
The Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) has entered its planning phase on the various visions and changes that would improve the village to both residents and visitors.
VanHorn said, "We had to develop a vision for what the downtown would look like. We came up with a more accessible waterfront, famous wine trails, art scene, internationally known race track, storied auto racing history, a world-class state park and a progressive community that retains and enhances the unique character of our village. We want a year-round downtown."
With a presentation of images for what the future could look like, VanHorn continued, "We are moving our water treatment plant off the waterfront. This is huge. Combined with this $10 million grant this will truly transform our community. Our goals revolved around downtown living, cultural entertainment, economic development and quality of life. We want to make sure that when everyone goes away after they graduate that they want to come back to this community, they want to retire to this community. We're going to invest in winter recreational opportunities with a sustainable downtown. There will be tons of improvements on Franklin Street. We're developing our strategies around all of these issues."
"We want to make Watkins amazing year-round," VanHorn added. "Our goal is to leverage this money as far as we can. We want to make sure this money transforms the entire community, not just a few people. We need businesses, we need more jobs with new places for people to live. There are a lot of ideas out there but we have to take time to consider if these are things that will benefit the entire community. At this point, there hasn't been a single project approved. We're still in the process of planning."
The next meeting of the planning board is scheduled for Dec. 13.
For more on the DRI, visit and follow the prompts to see the plans coming for Watkins Glen.

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