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Plan to revitalize Chaumont River corridor in the works

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A master plan to revitalize rural communities along the Chaumont River — namely Chaumont, Depauville and LaFargeville — soon will be developed with financial assistance from the state.

With a $15,775 state Department of State grant secured by Clayton, the town governments of Clayton, Orleans and Lyme hope to hire a consultant to help them create a regional strategy to boost economic development along the Chaumont River corridor.

Chaumont River flows through the three towns — including the hamlets of Depauville in Clayton and LaFargeville in Orleans — and into Lake Ontario at Chaumont Bay in Chaumont, a village in the town of Lyme.

The ongoing effort to develop these rural communities started gaining traction four years ago, when the state formally designated the Chaumont River as an “inland waterway.”

That 2009 bill was sponsored by Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell, D-Theresa, and former state Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine, D-Cape Vincent.

After a consultant is hired through a request for proposal process, public workshops would be held to identify the natural and cultural assets of the area and to put together a common vision for future development.

Besides laying out a common vision for sustainable economic development, the plan would identify ways to create affordable housing opportunities.

Other major goals include promoting tourism, increasing public access to the waterways and enhancing natural habitats.

Once adopted by the towns and approved by the state, the “Chaumont River Corridor Waterfront Revitalization Strategy” would allow the riverside communities to apply for more grant funding made available for waterfront development.

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