GLENS FALLS — The committee planning how to spend the city’s $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant is again broadening its vision for a year-round farmers market, this time to emphasize healthy eating.
“That’s not just a place where you go to get groceries. It’s also a resource for public health,” said Simon Kates, a consultant with BFJ Planning, at a committee meeting at Crandall Public Library on Wednesday.
At the December meeting, the committee coined the term “food hub,” as it broadened the vision for a year-round farmers market to include the potential of an incubator program for entrepreneurs looking to launch food merchandising ventures.
The food hub is part of the city’s vision for redeveloping the block of South Street between Elm and Broad streets with health care, educational, retail ventures, and a small park, possibly in collaboration with SUNY Adirondack and Hudson Headwaters Health Network.
The broadening of the vision for the year-round farmers market is an example of how the committee is endeavoring to identify multiple benefits of projects that could receive funding under the DRI grant the state announced in August.
The committee has identified more than 40 potential projects in a 60-page “action plan.”
Two new potential projects have been added recently, said EDC Warren County President Edward Bartholomew.
One is an incentive program for hotel development. This was added because it appears The Queensbury Hotel will not receive a state Restore New York grant the city applied for.
“We have not gotten official word yet. But it does not look like the hotel will receive it,” he said.
The other addition is a feasibility study of establishing a STEAM museum in downtown. STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, arts and math.
The committee also has expanded the boundaries of the grant area to include the National Grid property on Mohican Street, property along the Feeder Canal and property on Hudson Avenue west of Glens Falls Hospital, said Sarah Yackel, another consultant with BFJ Planning.
The expansion will align the grant area with the boundaries of the South Street Brownfield Opportunity Area, a separate state initiative, so projects could potentially receive funding from both.
The committee on Tuesday broke into small groups to begin scoring potential projects based on the following criteria:
Ability to attract other ventures
Availibity of other funding
Alignment with other city plans and initiatives
Each project is scored on each aspect separately.
“This isn’t meant to tell you which projects you’re going to prioritize. It’s meant to help you identify which goals a project achieves,” Yackel said.
The committee will hold a public forum at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 25 at Heritage Hall in Glens Falls Civic Center, at which members of the public will score projects based on the same criteria.
The forum is open to all.
Committee members will continue the scoring process individually or in small groups over the next few weeks.
The committee is working on a late February deadline to submit recommendations to the state on how the spend the grant.