Friday April 12, 2013

ZEKE WRIGHT

Staff Writer

HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. -- With a changing body of officials, the village of Hoosick Falls is refocusing on economic revitalization.

"I think the timing is right," Mayor David Borge said. Through recent difficult times, the newly sworn-in mayor acknowledged empty storefronts, lost manufacturing, and homes up for sale.

"If we don’t do something about that it will just continue." Borge told residents this week that the village could work toward a brighter future by implementing a community plan.

"Where do we want to be in five years? What do we want this community to look like?" Inaction would not be a positive course, he said.

The majority of the village board changed this month with the additions of Kevin O’Malley, Robert Ryan, and Ben Patton, all of whom were sworn in Tuesday. Borge said the plan was to create a committee of trustees and community members by next month who would be charged with making recommendations to the board on what it needs to do to revitalize Hoosick Falls.

A grant-funded dissolution study begun last year was similarly seen as potentially spurring growth. Although still ongoing, the response to that potential change was lukewarm.

"We have a lot of things happening in this community," Borge said. He said the village had made good strides recently and that other communities were currently in the same process.


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"With a little bit of focus, I think we can go a long way," he continued. "That’s in addition to all the day-to-day stuff."

The village’s organizational meeting set forApril 16 at 6 p.m. will include a public hearing on the tentative budget and appointments to various working groups. Trustee committee assignments will be chosen, including for a revised financial review group in response to recommendations from a recently released state Comptroller’s audit.

This past Tuesday, Shane Hathaway was appointed to replace Borge on a zoning study group. Started last year, that group is identifying possible revisions to village zoning and nuisance law to recommend to trustees at a later date.

Meanwhile, a committee of zoning and planning board members and residents is also being formed next week to hear appeals concerning issues with that nuisance law.

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