Shana Macey of Bridge Point Communication shows a Ticonderoga Revitalization Alliance working group the extent of the fiber optic broadband pipeline for Ticonderoga. Listening to Macey are Donna Wotton, Alex Levitch, Seddon Beaty and Susan Rathbun.
The Ticonderoga Revitalization Alliance isn’t going away. That was the message delivered during the group’s steering board meeting recently.
Citing financial concerns, the alliance laid off its chief operating officer in August, but the outlook was bright as the economic development group gathered its quarterly meeting in September.
“We’re focused on key projects with high impact on the Ticonderoga area,” said Chattie Van Wert, alliance director. “We have the ability to bring the right partners together to make significant contributions to restoring economic prosperity to the Ticonderoga area. I’m amazed by the active cooperation of all of the partners that are ready to step up and work together to make a major impact. No one individual, organization or group can do it alone. When we all work together it will happen.”
About 60 business, civic and town representatives attended the meeting. Presenters included North Country Community College, International Paper, National Grid, Aubuchon Hardware, Adirondack Meat Co., Fort Ticonderoga, Silver Bay YMCA, Bridge Point Communication, Ticonderoga schools, Inter-Lakes Health, PRIDE and the JASAMA Real Estate Group.
“I’ve owned businesses and real estate in Ti for a long time, and I can’t remember a time when I’ve been so encouraged about the future of this town,” said Jim Major, alliance chairman. “Look around the room. North Country Community College is expanding. Aubuchon Hardware is expanding. We’re getting a fiber optic broadband pipeline to support business expansion. National Grid is here telling us about grants and system upgrades to help us attract new businesses. We’ve got a number of projects in the works to develop new businesses and residential living in the downtown area. And let’s not forget the new vocational programs in the school system, new after-school programs and the expansion of our tourism, arts and cultural offerings. We’re going to see the impact of these projects in the coming months.”
Major praised Van Wert, who took over the alliance’s daily operations when CEO J. Justin Woods left because of a fund shortfall last summer.
“ Since Chattie Van Wert came on board in August, there has been a strong renewal of commitment, focus and energy that is translating to significant momentum,” Major said. “It’s happening. All of the important players are at the table — health care, education, local investors, businesses, industry, the town of Ti, Essex County IDA and SBA, PRIDE, the chamber, Fort Ti and private citizens who are really passionate about this area. Everyone is working together and they are all very excited.”
The alliance is creating a number of task forces with representation from various groups that will focus on “high-impact” projects, Van Wert said. The projects will be designed to bring new businesses, jobs, education options and tourism to Ti and the surrounding area.
“This isn’t just about Ticonderoga,” Van Wert said. “Projects will extend to Hague, Crown Point, Putnam and beyond. We want to be an economic and cultural hub of the Adirondacks and we’re bringing people together who can make it happen.”
The Ticonderoga Revitalization Alliance is a not-for-profit, local development corporation whose mission is to restore economic prosperity in the Ticonderoga region. It’s goal is to serve as a clearinghouse for ideas and resources and be a catalyst for public-private partnerships and investment opportunities.
It is comprised of private donors, business and industry partners, town and county government, leaders of civic organizations, and citizens who support the goals described in the town master plan. The goals include strengthening and growing the local economy and business base as well as expanding Ticonderoga as a hub for tourism, arts and culture.
Interested people can contact Van Wert at email@example.com. or stop by the office at 111 Montcalm St.