HAMMOND More than 30 residents voiced their ideas for economic development at the Town and Village of Hammonds joint public meeting on Tuesday.
The meeting was the first of series of planning sessions facilitated by the St. Lawrence County Planning Office. The Village and Town of Hammond have tapped the County Planning Office in order to develop a comprehensive plan that would outline goals and objectives for immediate and long-range economic and community development.
At the meeting, planning officers helped residents identify strengths and weaknesses as well as threats to and opportunities for the greater community of Hammond.
Remember, there are no bad ideas, St. Lawrence County Deputy Planning Director Jason C. Pfotenhauer said as the residents split into four groups, each facilitated by a county planning representative.
After the weaknesses, strengths, opportunities and threats were identified, residents were asked to rank each category based on importance.
Residents voted the town and villages close proximity to the St. Lawrence River, Black Lake and Singer Castle and the communitys rural atmosphere as the towns greatest strengths.
A lack of restaurants, gas stations, hotels and employment opportunities for youth were identified as the greatest weaknesses of the village and town.
Residents rated unregulated wind energy development and the potential impact with the loss of the school as the greatest threats faced by the village and town.
Opportunities for growth within Hammond included wind energy and tourism development.
It was a great exercise, and it included a lot of ideas I had not thought of before, Town Supervisor Ronald W. Bertram said. We had a great turnout and hopefully well see more people attend next time.
A second public meeting will be scheduled in the coming months to discuss strategies and priorities, Mr. Pfotenhauer said. The plan is expected to be complete by the end of the year.
It was a very successful meeting, said Mr. Pfotenhauer. We now have a great base with which to work off of.