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Consultant hired to develop Chaumont River revitalization plan; first public workshop to be held this winter

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Clayton, Lyme and Orleans have hired community planners with Ingalls Planning & Design, Fairport, to help them formulate a revitalization strategy for the Chaumont River corridor over the next couple of years.

Together, the three towns plan to create a comprehensive development strategy for rural communities along the river — including the hamlets of Depauville and LaFargeville and the village of Chaumont — based on public feedback.

Alicia M. Dewey, a member of the joint revitalization committee spearheading the effort, said the first public informational session would be held this winter and that several community workshops will take place to gather as much input from residents as possible.

The revitalization strategy would provide a general guideline for the riverfront communities to foster “sustainable economic development.”

The $15,775 state grant secured to undertake this effort will be matched with $8,325 in “in-kind services,” which includes time donated by volunteers, and a financial contribution of $2,500 from each township.

A majority of the funds — $22,125 — will be used to pay the consultants.

Ingalls Planning & Design’s role is to help identify funding sources; prepare an implementation plan for priority projects and large-scale activities; evaluate potential uses for underutilized or abandoned structures in the communities and develop a management and marketing plan.

Other major goals include identifying ways to create affordable housing opportunities, increase public access to the waterways, build parks and trails to promote tourism and enhance streetscape and natural habitats.

Ms. Dewey said the state Department of State grant program gave the townships three years to put this comprehensive plan together, but the partners are confident they can develop the plan and receive state approval by 2015.

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