Tools

Public meeting Tuesday about revitalizing Frankfort's Waterfront

By NICOLE PITT

- FRANKFORT, N.Y. (WKTV) - Officials are hoping a Public Visioning Workshop will put some ideas on the table in Frankfort. There are hundreds of acres in the town and the village that could be developed in the future. Officials want to hear ideas from the community at a meeting on Tuesday.

New development, new jobs, new ideas: that's what town and village officials are hoping to generate at a public meeting Tuesday.

"This is really a great opportunity to get people together and get some new ideas," says Karlee Tamburro. "We would rather people come out now and express their opinions on how they'd like to see things done. Even if they aren't comfortable speaking out, I think there will be ways tomorrow where you can submit your ideas."

"We need a vision of how we want our village and town, this whole area to look in the future maybe 10, 20 years down the road," said Town Councilor Mike Testa. " We really, really need village residents and town residents to come and help us because we don't want to be the ones that come up with ideas that later someone could say there could have been more done so we want to have community involvement."

The former Union Tools company is at the center of the Brownfield Opportunity Area. It's just a fraction of the entire site, though, which totals 470 acres. Cleanup is underway and when it's done the property can be used for new development. Officials with the State Department of Environmental Conservation say the best case scenario for development would be 2014.

Officials are hoping new development will restore the jobs that left when Union Tools closed in 2006. "It's our community and we really want it to have things in it that we want," said Testa. "Just like the Fork and Hoe- They worked there, they sent their kids to college, they developed and had a life here. That's gone right now and we want to bring that back. The vitality of having an area that can sustain the people and this village and this town and the region around us. We want jobs and we want a place for people to come."

Generating ideas is the first of a three step process. Step 2 involved applying for state and federal grants. Step 3 is a strategic planning process.

There is a developer that is interested in the Former Union Tools site, but that project can not move forward until cleanup is complete. Officials are looking for other ideas as well. "We're not just looking for manufacturing sites," said Testa. "This Brownfield Opportunity Area could encompass our marina and you know possible camping areas or the whole Mohawk River, Canal Corridor we can utilize. The possibilities are endless. We can have strip malls, hotels. We just have to have a plan going forward."

Officials are hoping to move on to Phase 2 in the spring. The Public Visioning Workshop is taking place Tuesday at 6 p.m. inside the Frankfort Village Hall.

"We can't stress enough how we need people to come down and sometimes they have a fresh outlook on things or you know something that they'd like to see happen that we might not have thought of," said Tamburro. Tamburro says there could more meetings in the future.

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