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Potsdam outlines 10-year plan

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POTSDAM — The village has nearly completed its comprehensive plan, a document that will help guide the next decade in Potsdam.

Over the next 10 years, the village will focus on providing more housing and better infrastructure, while making roads more accessible to pedestrians and bicyclists.

The new plan was created over the past year as the previous version, created in 2001 and updated in 2006, expired.

“It’s a chance for us to pause and take stock in where we are right now and what we need to do to move forward,” said Mayor Steven W. Yurgartis.

Mr. Yurgartis said the creation of a comprehensive plan will make it easier for Potsdam to apply for grant funding, as it will allow village leaders to easily demonstrate how funds will be used.

The 21-page draft calls for updates to Potsdam’s aging storm water infrastructure and wastewater treatment facilities.

There is a strong focus on turning the village into a desirable location for tourists and economic development. The idea is to support local businesses, including large employers such as Canton-Potsdam Hospital, SUNY Potsdam and Clarkson University. The plan also envisions creation of an arts center in the village and the expansion of Ives Park to become more attractive to visitors.

At a village Board of Trustees meeting Monday, Trustee Stephen J. Warr said he wanted the plan to include a process for regular review and updates as needed, instead of locking the village into a 10-year plan that would be difficult to alter and may become irrelevant as circumstances change.

Potsdam Planning and Development Director Frederick J. Hanss said the new plan will be flexible and easy to alter.

“The comprehensive plan should be a living, breathing document,” he said.

He agreed that a lot can change in a short period of time, as priority projects are completed and the needs of the village shift.

“In five years, situations change dramatically,” he said.

The board will hold a public meeting to discuss the plan and hear public feedback at 7 p.m. on Nov. 28 in the Civic Center boardroom.

The plan will also need to be submitted to St. Lawrence County before being voted on by the board.

The draft can be downloaded at https://sites.google.com/site/potsdamcompplan.

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