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Lieutenant Gov. Kathy Hochul poses for a portrait with Potsdam’s $10 million DRI state grant check. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

POTSDAM — Downtown Revitalization Initiative Local Planning Committee members will be holding the third of their sessions to determine what projects will benefit from the remainder of the $10 million grant.

A portion of that funding went to developing the Local Planning Committee.

The meeting, scheduled from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Feb. 20 at the Potsdam Community Room, 2 Park St., third floor, is open to the public and there will be a public comment period at the end, however, just like previous LPC meetings, it is not intended to be as interactive as a public information meeting.

The purpose of the Feb. 20 meeting for local and regional leaders, stakeholders and community representatives to brainstorm ideas, provide direction to consultants,review planning products and prioritize actions.

The upcoming meeting will consist of committee members breaking up into groups and discussing the merits of certain projects that have been submitted for consideration.

The projects deadline was Jan. 31 and Mayor Reinhold J. Tischler said there was a surplus of up to 80 applications.

The Village of Potsdam was selected as the north country DRI community in the fourth round of grant money awarded with a goal of boosting local economies by transforming communities into vibrant neighborhoods that offer a high quality of life for all residents, state officials said in a statement.

“Each community selected to participate in the Downtown Revitalization Initiative will accomplish its goals through a unique state-local partnership that includes a Local Planning Committee, a consultant team, and state agency staff. With support from municipal staff and input from the public, this partnership will result in a strategic investment plan that will achieve the vision and goals for revitalization of the downtown,” the news release stated.

Committee members mostly brainstormed their goals for the village under the four themes of Rebound, Revitalize, Rejoice and Rebuild during a Jan. 21 meeting with a focus on the arts.

That meeting was followed by informational pop ups around the village in coffee shops and other businesses and community centers. There was also a public informational meeting where members of the public gave input on where they would like to see projects and improvements.

Members of M.J. Engineering and Land Surveying, P.C., Clifton Park, the consultant team selected to assist in developing the DRI strategic investment plan, said those public information and pop up situations will continue, with a specific target of students and faculty in the area.

Public engagement is a key component of the DRI planning process and fundamental to the success of the DRI, the release stated. The objective of public engagement is to ensure that all stakeholders have ample opportunity to know and understand the DRI process and its intended outcomes; to comment on the study as it progresses; to express their concerns and contribute ideas; and to participate in building a consensus about the vision for the Downtown and other outcomes, culminating in a locally supported DRI Strategic Investment Plan.

More information about the DRI can be found at www.ny.gov/dri and https://potsdamdri.com/

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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