The following Letter to the Editor was published in the Adirondack Express newspaper during the week of February 3 – 9, 2023.
“Dear Citizens, Business Owners, and Community Organizations,
The LivingADK Board recently discussed the community concern surrounding the proposed housing development on North Street. LivingADK has consistently played the role of an unbiased facilitator assisting to coordinate resources and investigate possible solutions for the achievement of our mission to help ensure sustainable communities along the Route 28 corridor. Community housing has been a major challenge for many years. Our organization has been a partner in the creation of the Town’s Comprehensive Plan (updated July 2019) and several housing needs assessments, one of which was the West Central Adirondack Housing Needs Assessment (June 2012). These documents and more recent needs assessments clearly identify the shortage of affordable community housing options. Housing is a complicated issue, one that has challenged communities across the Adirondack Park and in resort communities across the country. We understand there is no one miracle solution, instead it will be a mix of solutions.
We commend the Town Board for having recognized this issue and have taken steps to be open to considering this possible housing development. People First (f/k/a Utica Housing Authority) was invited by and has been in discussions with the Town of Webb regarding this project since 2021. People First desires to have a complete application for NYS in June of this year. We recognize the
concerns that some community citizens have expressed, both publicly and on social media. We wish to assist in helping create the opportunity to inform the community regarding a potential housing solution for their family and friends desiring to remain in or move to the area because they wish to live or work here.
LivingADK is supportive of a public forum at a neutral location with sufficient seating and good acoustics. We invite citizens to submit their questions ahead of time which would then be addressed by a panel of People First staff and their partners. We understand that People First has been gathering reports and conducting interviews with Webb department heads and their engineering consultants regarding overall sewer infrastructure conditions and needs, etc. all in preparation to make a presentation to the public. People First intends to have a packet of information mailed to community residents ahead of the public forum date which is tentatively planned for the first week of March to accommodate various scheduling conflicts.
We wish to encourage all local organizations, business owners and citizens at large to agree to be open-minded and attend this future public meeting. Please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or drop them off at our office located at the rear of the Adirondack Bank building, 108 Codling Street, Old Forge, M-F, 9:00 am to 4:30 pm.
This prospective development is one option we must explore to the fullest. We understand there may be uncertainty about this project. The process of gathering data and sharing that data with the
community has taken longer than we all would have liked due to the fact that People First’s due diligence process included a much broader scope project which has resulted in unforeseen delay. Before forming your opinion about this project, we ask that you please give People First and other involved parties the opportunity to share the results of their due diligence, required data collection and answer our questions. Only then can we feel confident we have provided an educated and informed response.
An educated community is a smart and healthy community.”
Signed, The Board of LivingADK
Photo at top: LivingADK logo. Photo provided by Robin Hill, LivingADK Executive Director.