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“Reimagine Rensselaer” Begins



The City of Rensselaer is initiating “Reimagine Rensselaer,” a year-long planning effort to attract investment and funding opportunities to the city. The plan will include a comprehensive vision for the City’s future and an implementation strategy to guide the successful development of areas within the City of Rensselaer.

 

“The City of Rensselaer has much to offer to our residents and to the broader community,” said Rensselaer Mayor Mike Stammel.  One of Rensselaer’s greatest strengths is its central location, offering convenient access to everything from the New York State’s Capital, the City of Albany; other big metropolitan areas like New York City, Boston, Montreal, Syracuse and Buffalo (all accessible by car or train); and nearby mountains including the Adirondacks, Catskills and Berkshires.

 

Through this effort the City of Rensselaer will continue to enhance the quality of life in our community and create a sustainable vision for the future.  This will be accomplished by taking advantage of our location and reinvesting in our downtown.  “By taking stock of all that Rensselaer has to offer, and creating a vision for our future, we will be able to make our city even better,” added Mayor Stammel. “This will best be accomplished with information from members of our community and I encourage anyone interested to reach out to our Planning Department.”

 

Reimagine Rensselaer is funded through an $85,000 grant from the New York State Department of State Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) Program. Since the BOA program began in 2005, the State has distributed over $45 million across communities for planning and pre-development activities. While historically focused on brownfield sites, the program has evolved to take a more general look at opportunities for investment and revitalization of underutilized, abandoned, or vacant properties.

The City of Rensselaer has engaged LaBella Associates as consultants to guide the planning process.  This will involve facilitating community engagement events throughout the year, as well as developing recommendations for investment and revitalization into the final plan. A Steering Committee of community members has been formed to provide local input on all facets of the plan and planning process. “We are excited to be starting this process with LaBella Associates and are looking forward to the input we receive from the community that will guide us in ways to make Rensselaer better,” said Thomas Hulihan, Planning Director for the City of Rensselaer.

There will be many ways and occasions for community members to participate in Reimagine Rensselaer over the year. For more background information on the funding and planning process visit www.rensselaerplanning.com. This website will be updated with plan information as it develops. Community members are encouraged to check the site for event dates, plan updates, and general information throughout the year.

A visioning survey for community members has been launched and will remain open through January. The survey is available on the project website and at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6WTLDHJ.  Hard copies of the survey are also available at City Hall and at the Rensselaer Public Library.

For more information about Reimagine Rensselaer, visit the City Planning Department’s website: https://www.rensselaerplanning.com or contact Thomas Hulihan, City of Rensselaer Planning Director, at 518-462-4839 x 1527 or [email protected] or contact Norabelle Greenberger, AICP, Senior Planner at LaBella Associates at (518) 824-1933 or [email protected].

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