HAMMOND – After months of collaboration, the town and villages draft joint comprehensive plan is available on the towns website.
The plan looks at several areas agriculture, business and commerce, governance, housing, industry, infrastructure, and land use in order to establish goals, recommendations and implementation methods to ensure economic development in Hammond.
The community plan was developed by town and village residents, with assistance from the St. Lawrence County Planning Office, a review committee made up of volunteers, and the town and village boards.
The county Planning Office spent months collecting census data, constructing maps and compiling community history while the community worked to identify strengths, weakness and recommendations for improvement.
The plan has many strengths, said county Deputy Planning Director Jason C. Pfotenhauer. I hope the community can address as many as possible. Some will take longer than others, but they all have some value for the community.
According to the plan, residents voted to promote the communitys rich agricultural way of life by establishing farmers markets in the village and encouraging community-supported agriculture programs at farms.
To attract more visitors to the area, residents suggested developing a regional recreational trail that begins in Hammond. In order to improve the villages downtown, residents also recommended a housing rehabilitation program.
Local government agencies can apply for funds through a competitive grant application process, the plan states.
Having the plan in place is expected to place the town and village in a better position to get such funding.
State law requires that the plan be approved by the county Planning Board before it can be a officially considered a communitys plan.
This plan is merely a guideline, said Mr. Pfotenhauer. The community can choose to follow it if they wish. However, in order for the plan to be effective, it must be implemented. Were still in consultation with Town Supervisor Ronald Bertram and Mayor Shelly Youngs about when they want to present that to the county. I am hoping it could happen in December.
The county Planning Board meets Dec. 15.
I think having it accessible on the Internet is a great way for the residents to go take a look once and review what is being done, what needs to be done, and what changes need to be made to the plan itself, Mr. Pfotenhauer said.
The plan is online at www.townofhammondny.com.