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On World AIDS Day, New Mexico activists say more money is needed for prevention; ND farmers still navigate corporate land-ownership policy maze; Unpaid caregivers in ME receive limited financial grants.

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken urges Israel to protect civilians amid Gaza truce talks, New York Rep. George Santos defends himself as his expected expulsion looms and CDC director warns about respiratory illness as flu season begins.

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Congress has iced the Farm Bill, but farmer advocates argue some portions are urgent, the Hoosier State is reaping big rewards from wind and solar, and opponents react to a road through Alaska's Brooks Range, long a dream destination for hunters and anglers.

Ticonderoga Has Big Plans for Downtown Revitalization Grant

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Friday, February 24, 2023   

The Town of Ticonderoga has received a Downtown Revitalization Initiative Grant from the state. The $10 million grant will go toward a series of projects designed to revitalize some buildings and align with the community's vision.

Numerous projects were submitted in the town's application, but not every one of them will make the cut after being vetted by the state. At first, said Nicole Justin Green, executive director of Pride of Ticonderoga, it felt "surreal" to have won the grant. One project she's hoping will be approved is the downtown streetscape plan.

"This plan would redo all of our sidewalks and lighting, add in different trees and shrubbery, and just really highlight and make the historic downtown just more welcoming," she said. "It's a pretty expansive project, and we've slowly been doing sections of this project over the past 15 years."

Other projects up for funding include reconstruction of an 18th-century sawmill, which could draw more people to the historic downtown. From here, the state assigns consultants to work with the town to create a final planning committee. This new committee will work to gather public input and coordinate the final roster of projects to be developed.

Getting the grant was not without challenges. Ticonderoga Town Supervisor Mark Wright said it took about nine months to coordinate meetings and gather information to ensure they had a strong application for the grant. Wright said public engagement has been a big focus, and one of the most important parts of the process.

"If you don't have public buy-in on this, it just won't work," he said. "They have to feel invested in what their future is, and you have to get their input. And that's exactly what we did."

The town even had a Downtown Revitalization Initiative float in last year's Independence Day parade. Wright said he feels public and private investment into Ticonderoga over the last several years has helped demonstrate the town's commitment to revitalization plans.


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