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The village recently signed contracts totaling $4,595,000 for two DRI projects, including the downtown riverwalk trail, seen above in September. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

POTSDAM — Village Mayor Ron Tischler has signed paperwork for two of eight Downtown Revitalization Initiative projects, which in February will bring in $4,595,000 for the downtown riverwalk trail and Market Street streetscape revitalization.

Potsdam was awarded $10 million from the state’s DRI program in 2019.

In September, construction finished on Garner Park, 99 Raymond St., the first section of the new Downtown Riverwalk Trail.

The park beautifies the area behind Cactus Grill & Cantina, which for a long time, remained dilapidated. Now, there are paved walkways and picnic tables, as well as newly planted trees and street lamps to light the night trail.

Village Planning Director Frederick J. Hanss said the village hasn’t gone out to bid. They first have to submit a “significant environmental review,” and the village is “in the process of putting that together.”

A news release from the mayor’s office says the park “will provide greater public access to the beautiful Raquette River shoreline.”

Garner Park was acquired as part of an Environmental Quality Bond Act in the late 1980s, and is named for the village’s longtime mayor and trustee, the late Ruth F. Garner.

The park parallels the Raquette River and spans about one-third of an acre.

The village has another pending DRI grant — $750,000 for “Rebuild Downtown Potsdam.”

“It’s a fairly interesting project ... building renovations, it can help some people who want to put up an awning or new signage, commercial rental assistance for people who want to rent a commercial space downtown in a vacant building,” Mr. Hanss said at the Jan. 3 Board of Trustees meeting where he initially announced the $4,595,000 grant being signed.

“We’ll be updating the public as necessary … they should stay tuned. I think we’ll see some interesting projects coming forward,” Mr. Hanss said on Monday.

There are five other projects getting funding through the 2019 DRI award. They include $1,659,000 to expand the Potsdam Food Co-op, $1.4 million to expand the North Country Children’s Museum, $600,000 to expand the Clarkson Inn, $578,000 to expand the SLC Arts Center and $118,000 for an expansion at the Sandstone Diner.

“Each of those is being handled directly between the state agency that’s providing the funding and the organization that’s receiving the funding,” Mr. Hanss said.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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