St. Lawrence County Steps Up For Downtown Revitalization MoneyPosted: Updated:
Believers in downtown hope this is the year. Potsdam and Massena will both enter the state's Downtown Revitalization Initiative sweepstakes. Canton and Ogdensburg may as well.
“I think that our turn is now. It's our time to shine and I really wouldn't be a bit surprised if somebody from St. Lawrence County can bring it home this year,” said Gregory Thompson, village of Potsdam administrator.
St. Lawrence County tops the north country in applications each year. But no community there has won yet. It was Watertown making a splash two years ago and Saranac Lake last year.
“We see the DRI as a great opportunity to really finish off our downtown and return it to the great place it use to be,” said Timmy Currier, Massena mayor.
In Potsdam, they are again talking about the potential for whitewater kayaking and encouraging entrepreneurs. Communities say they now have a better idea what the state wants.
“They're looking for something that's going to put your downtown over the top, not start it, not to start the beginning process of revitalizing it,” said Currier.
In Massena, there is also an emphasis on riverfront development, walking trails and downtown entrepreneurs with an Internet presence.
DRI money is in the state budget. An announcement on the deadline for applications is expected soon.