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Herkimer community gathers for expert's report on downtown revitalization

By LEXIE O'CONNOR

HERKIMER, N.Y. (WKTV) - The community group known as "Herkimer NOW" presented the results of a recent assessment of the Village of Herkimer's downtown and what could be done to revitalize it.

Teresa Lynch, a national expert on downtown revitalization, had visited the village on January 4 and 5, meeting with community leaders, the "Herkimer Now" group and interested citizens.  After analyzing Herkimer's Main Street, her report listed out the first steps the Village of Herkimer can take to bring its downtown back. She says she sees it possible by becoming "a Main Street program," something she has seen work in communities across the nation.
 
Her report highlighted all the assets she felt Herkimer has, including its great location just off the thruway, the many architectural features its buildings have, and that it has some long time family businesses, as well as a community college.

However, to expand on these assets and bring downtown back, Herkimer NOW will need the community's help.

"It's really a grassroots effort. It's not like there's a Main Street program that you apply to and get money," says Herkimer NOW's Stefanie Noble. "You need buy-in from your businesses, buy-in from your government. You need organizations to support these sort of things to help out and from all people in community."

While investments will need to be made, Noble says it doesn't have to be just through financial means. She says people can volunteer their time through Main Street cleanups, or by sitting on a committee to help plan an event to start bringing people downtown.

The expert's full report and how you can get involved can be found at http://herkimernow.org

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