Village plagued by water problems switches focus to river revitalization

May 22, 2018 06:36 PM

HOOSICK FALLS - Jasen VonGuinness opened three businesses in Hoosick Falls in the past four years -- two of them since the village's PFOA problem surfaced. He has no regrets.

"I see a rebirth of a cute little hill community," explained VonGuinness from his liquor store, Hoosac Package, on Tuesday.

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Hoosick Falls is asking business owners like VonGuinness and residents to help create a waterfront revitalization plan. Once the mills that the village was founded on closed, the river was ignored. The goal is to make Hoosick Falls river-centered again.

"People started to forget the river was there, it became the background and in Hoosick Falls, it's in our name," asserted Village Trustee, Brian Bushner.

With the flood plain in mind, ideas include restaurants and bars, parks and water recreation businesses. Once there's an official plan in place, Hoosick Falls can become eligible for state and federal funding to help make the project a reality.

"It gives people a reason to come here and stay here and a reason to live here. Right now, we could use positive changes to give people more optimism," believed Bushner.

Water may have come close to doing the village in, but it could also be what saves it.

"Things are going well now and we can get back on path of revitalizing the community and re-purposing," said VonGuinness. "There's a whole bunch of ancillary businesses that can thrive."

A public meeting on the Waterfront Revitalization project is scheduled for June 11 at the Village Municipal Building.


Abigail Bleck

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