At the January 9, 2017 Village Board Meeting, members of the Phoenix Rising – Project Hudson Falls gave a presentation regarding their efforts.
Trustee Robert Cook provided some background on the Phoenix Rising Project.
In 2014, the Village formed a vacant and abandoned properties task force which began to identify issues surrounding these properties and researched possible actions that could be taken to address any issues.
The twelve member task force met for about six months, spoke to elected officials, visited other communities, spoke with consultants and made lengthy recommendations to the Board.
Several original members stayed on and learned there is a limit to what local elected officials can accomplish on their own. You can’t turn communities around merely by passing new codes. What was needed was a private public partnership of committed people working in collaboration with the Village Board to develop initiatives to ultimately give people reasons to want to live and invest in the Village.
The team needed to work to address quality of life issues, provide positive events that bring people together and find ways to take advantage of what we already have. Hudson Falls is a walkable community with lovely established neighborhoods and an abundance of parks.
The task force needed to find a way to leverage the Village’s rich history as well as the historic buildings on Main Street. The team wanted to take advantage of the 20,000 cars per day that travel Main Street and get the cars to stop in the Village. All of this would provide positive economic development.
In February of 2016 the group became Phoenix Rising Project Hudson Falls Inc. a 501 (c) 3 non-provide corporation. A Board of Directors was put together —
Bill Nikas, President
Bob Cook, Vice President
Joelle Timms, Secretary/Treasurer
Brenda Brooks, Head School Nurse Teacher for the Hudson Falls Central School District
Bill Kuba, Hudson Falls resident and IT Businessman
Kathy Varney, former Hudson Falls Trustee and Program Director for Creating Healthy Schools and Community Grant funded through the NYS Department of Health and administered by the Health Promotion Center of Glens Falls Hospital.
Patti Gray Whann, owner of Glens Falls Area Realty and owner of Redesign for Seniors who has a deep background with the Glens Falls Collaborative and has worked with the Glens Falls Improvement District
Melissa Brennan, a local entrepreneur
Tori Rily, President of the Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Phoenix Rising Project Hudson Falls has focused its attention on four major initiatives — Farmers Market, Business Improvement, Parks Expansion and Revitalization and Rehabilitation of the former Washington County Courthouse.
Joelle Timms reports that the Sandy Hill Farmers Market has been very successful. In 2017, they hope to expand with more farmers and fresh flowers. There is a wide variety of vendors and entertainment. It has been a wonderful addition to our community and has brought the community together. There is hope to partner with the Feeder Canal Alliance and organize a 5K Race in the fall. They would like to utilize the Feeder Canal Trail and bring the race into some of the Village’s residential areas. It was mentioned that Howard Raymond of the Feeder Canal Alliance is involved with the group’s efforts.