HUDSON — Mayor Tiffany Martin Hamilton has named the members of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative Local Planning Committee, which will decide the projects implemented with the $10 million state grant the city received this summer.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Aug. 1 that Hudson was one of 10 municipalities in the state to receive the $10 million first-place award in the second round of Downtown Revitalization Initiative grants.
The 23-person committee, which includes Hamilton and Matthew Nelson as co-chairs, will spend six months building on the projects outlined in the Downtown Revitalization Initiative application, collect ideas for additional projects and decide the final projects that will be implemented over the next two years.
The city’s plan includes: Way-finding signage for destinations and parking, free citywide Wi-Fi, a districtwide arts project, establishing the city as a trades and apprenticeship innovation hub, redevelop the Dunn Warehouse for year-round public and private usage and building a public pier for recreation between boat slips.
Hamilton declined to comment about how the committee members were chosen.
Hudson resident Seth Rapport said while he didn’t know why he was chosen, he’s looking forward to continuing his involvement in community efforts.
“The committee is formulated to be representative and to serve the community,” said Rapport, who has owned Hudson-based Valley Mortgage Co. for more than 20 years.
He said he’s witnessed Hudson evolve and that the $10 million grant would continue the city’s progress.
“When I grew up here in the ’70s it was a depressed economy and it’s a more prosperous and diverse city now,” he said. “My hope and wish for Hudson is continued prosperity and a good quality of life for the people who live here.”
Elena Mosley of Claverack, founder of the nonprofit Operation Unite, located on Columbia Street in Hudson, which launched 25 years ago to serve the city’s youth and provide college-bound academic and arts program, was also chosen to be on the Local Planning Committee.
“I’m honored to be thought of as someone who can help with the needs of the city,” she said. “I’m hoping we’ll be able to bring to the table the concerns and needs of the residents of the city and make the best choices we possibly can.”
Mosley said having a framework for how the grant will be used would be beneficial to the committee.
“There’s a foundation that allowed us to receive the grant in the first place,” she said. “That’s one of the things that made me feel good about being on the committee.”
Mosley anticipates the committee members will be grouped.
“It’s an awful lot of people, so I’m counting on that initial document to help us focus and go from there,” she said. “Since the committee is so large, I can only imagine that there will be subcommittees.”
Once the selected projects have been implemented, Mosley said she is hoping to be left with a sense of involvement.
“I want to feel that I contributed to the progress and growth of Hudson,” she said. “It won’t please everybody, because nothing ever does, but everybody should have at least one or two things at the end of the day that they contributed to and feel good about.
“I want to be able to say to people, ‘this is what I did on your behalf,’” she said.
The Downtown Revitalization Initiative Local Planning Committee will work alongside representatives from the state Department of State, Capital Region Regional Economic Development Council, Empire State Development and professional planning firm Stantec throughout the six-month planning process.
The other committee members: Tiney Abitabile, Brenda Adams, Kim Bach, Shaheim DeJesus, Todd Erling, Betsy Gramkow, Michelle Hughes, Jeff Hunt, Joan Hunt, Tony Jones, Peter Jung, Sara Kendall, Bob Lucke, Randall Martin, Jabin Ahmed Ruhii, Michael Sadowski, Dan Seward, Colin Stair and Christine Vanderlan.
To reach reporter Ann Friedman, call 518-828-1616 ext. 2499 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.