GLOVERSVILLE — Mayor Vince DeSantis on Wednesday helped lead a tour for state officials through Gloversville’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative zone and announced some of the members of the city’s “DRI Local Planning Committee”, including its co-chairman Wally Hart.
“We walked through the downtown with representatives from [the New York state Department of] Homes and Community Renewal and the Dept. of State and our consultants Elan [Planning & Design] that are assigned to help us with the DRI,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis was able to reveal that he and Hart will be the co-chairs of the committee. Hart is occupying the dedicated slot on the committee for the Mohawk Valley Economic Development Council. Hart is also the former president of the Fulton County Chamber of Commerce and current executive director of the Lexington Foundation and division director of community and business development at Lexington Arc.
DeSantis said 1st Ward Councilwoman Marcia Weiss will represent the common council on the LPC, while Lisa Nagle, a founding member of Elan Planning, and James Hannahs, Gloversville’s Downtown Development Specialist, will also be a part of the committee. He said the rest of the members, including members from the general Gloversville community, will be announced by Monday.
DeSantis said he’s received a huge number of resumes, letters and emails from members of the public interested in volunteering for the LPC.
“As it turns out, when you’re deciding how to spend $10 million, there’s no shortage of people interested in volunteering,” DeSantis quipped.
The LPC will be tasked with soliciting community input and finalizing a list of potential economic development projects to submit to New York state for partial funding from the $10 million grant.
DeSantis said the first meeting of the LPC will be during the third week of January, and will be announced at least two weeks before the meeting.
“All of the meetings for the committee will be public,” DeSantis said. “So members of the public will be able to attend, and it will be virtual as well, so members of the public can attend that way on Facebook live, and all of those meetings will also be recorded, so they’ll be on the city’s website and people who aren’t able to attend in real time will be able to see them, and be able to comment on things. So, it will be broadly public.”
DeSantis said it’s important for members of the public to understand that the initial list of 18 proposed projects for the $10 million DRI is not set in stone, and it’s entirely possible, and even likely, that additional projects not yet proposed could be put into the final submission to New York state.
“Just because a particular project idea was not in our DRI application, does not mean that it can’t be in the DRI because there is going to be a public call for additional projects,” DeSantis said. “People will be able to propose projects, but they have to be real projects, not somebody just proposing an idea that they don’t want to do. There will be a specific application that somebody will have to fill out, and even smaller projects can be funded to some extent.”
DeSantis said input from the general public will be a vitally important part of the LPC process.
“This process will go on for several months,” DeSantis said. “And even if people aren’t proposing a project, we really want people to comment on the proposals, and comment on the discussion and they can do that either in real time, or if they can’t do that in real time, either in person or virtually, they can comment through email or via a Facebook comment after viewing the video recording.”