6:30 pm Network, view permanent art exhibit at the Tahawus Cultural Center
7:10 pm Welcome by Knut who introduced Rebecca Kelly of Tahawus who talked briefly about plans to renovate the basement of the building to become a maker space.
7:15 pm Presentation by Nicole Justice Green of the Pride of Ticonderoga organization. She is a mother of 5 who moved here from Virginia. Nicole became involved with the Pride of Ticonderoga as a professional grant writer. As a member of the RPC (Rural Preservation Company) there are four areas of focus:
- -Downtown development
- -Historic preservation
- -Community development
Nichole’s jurisdiction serves Essex County as well as Warren and Washington counties. An example was given were the DRI (Downtown Revitalization Initiative) awarded a grant to the Ticonderoga Knights of Columbus to become an Art Center. Nichole noted that Au Sable Forks is an ideal community for revitalization with a great walkable historic downtown. Vacant spaces, cultural offerings and small industry are areas where opportunities exist. Every year a building remains vacant the costs to revamp go up 15%. To become eligible a feasibility study is conducted to consider what businesses would work, what is the housing need, what are the needs of the community and what are the design guidelines. Jay had a revitalization plan done in 2005, how viable would it be now?
Nicole is working with the Town of Jay and mentioned doing a quick web search to see what kind of information was available to travel to the town. She looked for a community calendar and found 2 or 3 sources but not a central one. She also didn’t find an easy source to locate commercial real estate in Jay.
Grants can include the three hamlets, but some are dedicated to downtowns. Nicole mentioned that her “unicorn” list for Jay would include a staffed town chamber of commerce as a spinoff from ARVBA. Currently a Technical Assistance Grant is in the works with the town of Jay. Nichole finished by answering a few questions.
7:45 pm The next speaker was Eileen Mowrey-Floss from ROOST. She gave an update on the kiosk sign for the Town of Jay. Eileen also talked about the recent launch of the Whiteface Region website. To be listed businesses fill out an online form to get a free listing. ARVBA members get a free enhanced listing page that can include hours, photos, YouTube videos etc. She also mentioned that businesses can list events and promotions on the Whiteface Region calendar that is email blasted on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Eileen spent the rest of her time talking about the upcoming solar eclipse on April 8th 2024. Our region is “in the path of totality” for the eclipse. The eclipse is calculated to start at about 2:13pm and peak at 3:25pm. ROOST is expecting many visitors to come to the region. They are encouraging people to come early and leave late to elevate traffic congestion and stay longer in the area. The Jay Village Green and the Grove Fields are designated viewing areas. ROOST has a business toolkit at; https://www.2024-eclipse.com/. Solar eclipse glasses are available for purchase in different quantities at this site. Wally Walters gave an account of being in Tennessee for an eclipse which was very interesting.
Adam DeSantis, the new director of economic development at ROOST spoke briefly. He lives in Jay and has experience in senior housing. His work will focus on economic development and housing needs.
8:10pm. Knut conducted the membership meeting. Currently there are 45 members. New Vida will be hosting a Showcase followed by an ARVBA holiday party on Sunday Dec 10th, at 4 pm.
Financial Report and 2024 Budget approval.
Jamie Cecelia gave a financial report and had a printout to share, the budget was also included in the newsletter recently published by Marisol. Jay Ward made a motion to approve, Sue Young seconded, all voted in favor.
Board member & candidate presentations – elect board members.
Next order of business was to vote on Board Members, there are 9 positions available. Currently there is Knut Sauer, Marisol Sauer, Jay Ward, Jamie Cecelia, Kira Witherwax, Katherine Giovacco and Sue Young. Kira and Katherine are not seeking positions. Two to four positions are available. The new board members candidates are Martha Spear and Tim Rowland. Jay Ward made a motion to vote for 5 existing candidates and the 2 new people, Marisol seconded, all voted in favor.
Nov 30, 2023. 6:30pm
LOCATION: Tahawus Cultural Center
14234 Rte 9N, Main Street, Au Sable Forks, NY 12912
Roughly 30 people in attendance
Prepared by Sue B Young