According to the head of the Westport Chamber of Commerce, Westport is ready to poised for a breakthrough.
“I think we are ready to make a great leap forward,” said Dee Carroll, president of the chamber. “If we pay attention to the ideas that are in the River Street Association Report, our community could continue to build on economic success and revitalize the town.”
The River Street report is a project sanctioned by the town of Westport and the chamber through a grant to look at economic development strategies.
“They were charged with coming up with some concrete things that our community could do,” Carroll said.
The Chamber will be hosting a meeting to discuss the release of the report Nov. 19 at 6 p.m.
Before that, the chamber will be hosting its annual dinner Thursday, Nov. 7, at the Westport Hotel and Tavern. This year, the chamber is recognizing the numerous residents of the town who have volunteered to help serve the community as their Citizens of the Year.
“We were aware of so many volunteers,” Carroll said. “The big one, of course, was the school doing their town adoption day. The whole school got involved and we thought this would be a way to thank everyone.”
Carroll also spoke of the people who volunteered their time at the Westport Heritage House.
“We have had over 40 volunteer ambassadors who have represented the community to visitors and told the stories about life here in Westport,” she said. “Nancy (Decker) and all of the people on the committee are volunteers. The chamber is all volunteer and there are a number of people who are volunteering throughout the town in a bunch of different capacities. If it were not for the volunteers, we would struggle.”
Carroll said that volunteerism will be a key to the success of the town in the future.
“If Westporters continue to step up to the plate and be involved and do some of these things that will be talked about Nov. 19, then I think we can move forward,” she said. “I see it as a wave, a big leap forward and it will take a lot of work and a lot of people taking part in that work.”
Carroll said the chamber has worked throughout the past year on repairing the Heritage House roof, working to build relationships between businesses in neighboring towns and creating themed itineraries for use by Lakes to Locks Passages.
In the future, a lot of the focus for the chamber is on the upcoming Bicentennial program and the creation of a beautification committee.
“We want to find ways to make Westport even more attractive to visitors, potential residents and visitors,” Carroll said. “We can start doing it now and getting people involved. We want to continue to encourage and praise those people who step forward to help.”
For more on the Westport Chamber of Commerce, visit the website westportny.com.