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Adirondack Frontier Watch: February 2023

February 16, 2023

Adirondack Frontier Watch: February 2023

The beauty of winter in the Adirondack Frontier was on full display during the recent Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games. The newly renovated Saranac Lake Civic Center hosted the fan-favorite curling events and Paul Smith’s College served as an Athlete’s Village for hundreds of athletes.

Countless athletes, families, and visitors enjoyed our scenic byways as they traveled between the hockey venues in neighboring St. Lawrence County and the host Village of Lake Placid. Visitors undoubtedly left with a good impression of our 1,600 square mile corner of the world and we welcome them to return again and again.

Along with Franklin County and regional partners, our team is actively engaged in efforts to expand quality broadband access.

Jeremy Evans, FCEDC CEO, and Russ Kinyon, FCEDC Economic Director, recently completed an extensive review of broadband data in each town in the county to ensure that all addresses that should have access to broadband are accounted for by federal and state governments. We appreciate the support from county legislators, town supervisors and other stakeholders that assisted this effort.

Congratulations to Franklin County for recently gaining state approval to create the Franklin County Land Bank, the 2nd land bank to be formed in the North Country!

Jeremy Evans issued the following statement about the approval, “When the Franklin County Legislature identified creation of a land bank as a priority, FCEDC was happy to assist with the application because we recognized the value it could bring to our communities. The land bank will be an effective tool to combat blighted properties and create housing opportunities in Franklin County and we commend the Legislature for their leadership with this important initiative.”

Small Communities, Big Opportunities Conference.
Supporting business transitions to new ownership will ensure a wave of retiring business owners doesn’t mean losing critical skills, services and amenities in our communities. The North Country Center for Businesses in Transition (CBIT) Small Communities, Big Opportunities Conference will help buyers and sellers connect and master the process. The conference is underway right here at the Hotel Saranac. More information can be found on the conference website at ownanorthcountrybusiness.com/

Small Business Grant Program. 
An important objective for FCEDC in 2023 is securing and administering grant funding to support small businesses across the Adirondack Frontier. Helping small businesses grow and create jobs is a priority for the Franklin County Legislature and FCEDC looks forward to a continued partnership to grow our entrepreneurial economy. If you own a small business and are looking to expand and create jobs please contact us because we want to help!

Adirondack Regional Airport.
Harrietstown recently purchased and installed digital signage in the airport terminal and Fixed Base Operator building. The computer controlled signage allows the airport to display ads, messages, a flight tracker app, and weather information.

Saranac Lake Civic Center.
The Saranac Lake Civic Center renovation was completed in time for the World University Games curling events. FCEDC was happy to assist the Saranac Lake Civic Center secure and administer the state funding for the project. The facility welcomed the world to Saranac Lake and was a terrific host for the exciting curling competitions!

Saranac Lake DRI Energize Downtown Fund.
Most rent assistance projects and 2 construction projects have been completed. Of the remaining 10 construction projects, here is a summary of their status:

  • 3 projects currently under construction

  • 2 project awaiting a spring construction start date

  • 1 project awaiting estimates

  • 3 projects under environmental review

  • 1 project awaiting project set up approval

All available funds are disbursed and the estimated completion of all projects is December 2024.

Saranac Lake – Tupper Lake NY Main Street Program Grant. 
FCEDC recently completed its first downtown revitalization grant. In total, 6 projects were completed — 4 in Tupper Lake and 2 in Saranac Lake.

Property owners were awarded $246,678 total in grant funds and leveraged the public investment by matching $295,913, including $22,000 from the Fund for Tupper Lake, provided through the Adirondack Foundation.

Downtown Saranac Lake
Tupper Lake Junction
Downtown Malone
Northern Power & Light.
Jeremy Evans, FCEDC CEO, attended a lunch hosted by Northern Power & Light that included representatives from NYSERDA, including President & CEO Doreen Harris.The purpose was to make NYSERDA aware of renewable energy opportunities in the North Country and discuss how NYSERDA programs can be adjusted to better serve the unique needs of the North Country, especially small hydro-electric power producers.


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