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Gouverneur town, village officials weigh retail study

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GOUVERNEUR — The Gouverneur Area Development Corp. and the Greater Gouverneur Area Chamber of Commerce are pushing for the town and village to join them in a study of the community’s retail needs.

The Town Council has agreed to contribute $2,500 toward a study by Dadras Architects, Liberty. The village Board of Trustees is considering a similar request.

For a total cost of $5,000, Dadras would meet with business owners, determine what retail is lacking, conduct an inventory of buildings and report its findings.

“It needs to be the four entities,” said C. Korleen Spilman, Development Corp. president. “It’s more or less an assessment. It would give us the means to get to the retail we need.”

According to its website, after the assessment, Dadras can recommend a strategy for revitalization that includes potential funding sources.

Ms. Spilman said the study could extend down the Route 11 corridor and south toward Fort Drum. “We don’t want to do just Main Street,” she said.

Ms. Spilman said she hoped the village would act on the request in June so that Dadras could conduct the study by August and discuss its findings in September.

The goal would be not only to fill empty storefronts downtown but also to determine how to attract larger retailers as anchors.

“It’s an awful hard thing in these small towns to keep people from going out of town to shop, because we don’t have the variety,” Ms. Spilman said.

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