WARRENSBURG-An outline for the future of the Town of Warrensburg has been drafted and about 35 people attended its recent public debut on May 16.
Warrensburg's new proposed comprehensive plan was unveiled in a meeting held at the Warrensburg Elementary School. A local committee appointed by the town and facilitated for over a year by lan Planning and Design, a firm from Saratoga Springs, has prepared a 50-page document outlining the vision, goals, and recommendations proposed to update the town's previous master plan completed in 1987.
Concerns addressed by the plan including economic development balancing year-round business and tourism, Main Street revitalization, waterfront enhancement, open space and environment, affordable housing, infrastructure and governance, recreation, and cultural improvement of the hamlet.
A sampling of recommendations from the draft plan includes expanding broadband access, promoting home businesses, establishing both an economic development committee and a conservation advisory council, creating an historic preservation board, regulating architectural design, exploring alternative energy production, and supporting the library's operations.
Comments and questions from the audience were entertained. One resident noted the need to consider planning in the context of Adirondack Park Agency rules so as to reduce complications for new projects. Another remarked that there are many diseased and dead trees on properties around town that should be removed to prevent spread of infection to other trees.
The plan expresses increased municipal support for Richards Library. A letter in response from library officials circulated monday cited that boosted support for its expenses will enable the library to both to increase its services and complete the expansion of its facilities for the community.
Disappointment was expressed by some in the audience that members of the Town Board did not attend the meeting.
Town resident Ruth Fruda commented that the town needs to expand its tax base, but needs to preserve and enhance its heritage. She said that in pursuing this objective, the town needs to balance smart development with maintaining historic buildings, particularly along Main St.
She noted that many people seek to reside in towns that have a rich historic character, and with thousands of well-paid workers and professionals expected to be employed soon at Global Foundries in Malta - just 40 minutes or so away from Warrensburg - the town leaders should be marketing Warrensburg's attributes. She observed that her son Richard and several friends commute daily to Albany, and many others would do so if they knew about Warrensburg's ambiance.
"We need to market Warrensburg as a great place to live - we have wonderful natural resources. so much to offer, particularly y families, considering our recreation and outstanding schools," she said.
She added that the town needs middle-income housing, both for families and seniors. The array of stores and services available here downtown within walking distance, is particularly appealing to seniors, she said.
Committee member Steve Parisi said Tuesday that housing needs both development and improvement in the core hamlet to make the town center more vital.
"It's of primary interest to expand the tax base to lower all residents' share of the taxes, and make it more desirable to move into town," he said.
The Comprehensive Plan committee will meet May 31 to make further revisions. After that the next step is to evaluate zoning regulations, which should conform to the plan. The draft plan can be viewed online by visiting the Warrensburg town government home page and selecting the link "Comprehensive Plan 2013."
Adirondack Journal Editor Thom Randall contributed to this report.)