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Revitalization expert meets with community in Herkimer

By LEXIE O'CONNOR

HERKIMER, N.Y. (WKTV) - National expert on downtown revitalization, Teresa Lynch presented her observations on Herkimer Village's Main Street to residents Wednesday night and recommended a course of action to bring the area back to life.

Having worked with numerous communities across the nation and seeing Main Street programs work, Lynch says with Herkimer Village's unique architecture, intact buildings, and enthusiasm of residents, she sees a tremendous opportunity for the village.

"I think what we're seeing here today is a lot of people are really hopeful they came out and they want to do something and they're realizing that they need to be a part of figuring out what happens as we move forward," says Stefanie Noble of the citizen committee "Herkimer Now."

The meeting brought out residents like Charles Collins who has lived in the village of Herkimer since 1944, raised a family there and has seen Main Street change form a vibrant hub to one with many vacant stores.

"I knew Main Street when it was full of people, had a store from one end of main street to the other," says Collins. "We had our ice cream, our hot dog places, our diners to go to after high school prom and dances, we used to just hang out."

Lynch suggested steps and answered residents questions on how a Main Street program could bring Herkimer's downtown back, success Herkimer resident Linda Rockwood saw first hand in Littleton, New Hampshire where she used to live.

"There was momentum and they were able to continue it," says Rockwood. "But even now when we go back to visit it... it's still working."

Tuesday Lynch will meet with village officials and "Herkimer Now" committee members to review the highlights of her findings and suggest the next steps to move forward.

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