It feels like I have been talking about this subject for years. Well, that’s because we have! So I am very excited to know that the Mahopac Carmel Chamber of Commerce recently began talks with the Town of Carmel to develop an action plan in conjunction with the Putnam County Economic Development Corporation and the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce, to create a strong vibrant and inviting community that reflects its diversity, history and culture. By encouraging strong relationships between residents, the Town, businesses, educators, non-profits, and our faith based community, its mission plans to foster a balanced approach to revitalization effort of our downtown areas in the Hamlets of Carmel and Mahopac. We believe by establishing long term private and public partnerships; the Town of Carmel will accomplish the goals and vision for a better place to live, work, play and raise families.
The Task Force will work towards the goals of creating economic value for the business district of lake Mahopac and greater Carmel area, focusing on the existing downtown core and redeveloping underutilized locations; creating jobs and career opportunities for Town residents; providing net positive tax revenue to the Town and school district; providing a vibrant downtown; restoring and maintaining the Town as a regional destination; fostering a sense of safety and security; capitalizing on existing tourist destinations; providing a mixed-use downtown setting; improving streetscapes and creating a pedestrian friendly “walkable” environment; achieving the adaptive reuse of vacant buildings where appropriate; and creating sustainable development by implementing smart growth and green building design elements in an economically viable plan.
The Putnam County Chambers of Commerce, in its Legislative Priorities 2015, highlights the “need to develop a County-wide Master Plan encompassing the Local Municipalities for a total look at where we are and what we plan for the future.” And to “communicate the concepts of modern sub-urban/rural development in an area that is increasingly being brought into the Metropolitan ‘Megapolis’”.
To be successful towns will need to employ a variety of concepts in order to develop the plans and engage the community, ensuring reasonable standards for planning, zoning, sign ordinances and other regulations. This should be emulated everywhere in Putnam County. Each town is different, so methods and results will also differ; still the reasons for doing so remain the same. And the sense of urgency has never been greater – it’s time to enact real, positive change to Putnam County’s commerce districts.
We can simply follow the lead of the village of Brewster who is moving full steam ahead with “Envision Brewster” which really paved the path for all municipalities to follow.
-Jennifer Maher, Chairwoman, the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce