The Ravena Coeymans Selkirk Community Business Association’s first in-person meeting in more than a year featured summaries of the proposed Coeymans Comprehensive Plan Update by Town Supervisor George McHugh who gave an insightful overview of the accelerated and exciting growth of the community.
The guest speaker summarized the proposal as a way of maintaining a balance of industry, parks, residential and needed rehabilitation.
The supervisor noted the update targets areas of economic development, infrastructure, transportation, natural resources and agriculture, land use and zoning and government administration and policies.
McHugh guesstimated 75% of Coeyman’s industrial footprint has been filled already. When that is completely utilized, he doesn’t foresee any more extensions of such zoning.
“This is an area that’s proud to have taken the last running brickyard and turned it into a port, an old mushroom farm and transformed it into an industrial park and a bowling alley that is going to be resurrected into apartments and a possible venue for public events," the supervisor said.
Additionally, Carver Industries is relocating 120 employees from their Duanesburg site, building a 42,000 square-foot headquarters in the industrial park and is constructing a tug and barge repair facility that is unique to Upstate.
McHugh said the seventy acres across from the port that is owned by William Biers is shovel-ready and has been approved as a major site.
The supervisor also touched on the new grant writer’s work to improve the riverfront and its stormwater challenges.
“We used seed money from a settlement to apply for a grant that could improve the riverfront while helping to alleviate flooding,” McHugh said. “With the assistance of the grant and the cooperation of LaFarge and Carver Industries, we will build permanent bathrooms [in the Coeyman's riverfront park] without bonds.”
On the recreational side, he reviewed the uptick in usage of the parks.
“COVID revealed that our parks were an integral part of our resident’s lives as they were busier than ever as a safe outlet during the pandemic,” he said.
The RCSC Business Association’s format included a significant question-answer session in which McHugh answered a variety of concerns and issues facing the region.
At the top of the list was a lengthy discussion on truck traffic. McHugh said the wheels of progress move slowly, but many meetings have focused on several proposed initiatives that include a separate New York State Thruway exit, a road that connects 9W and and Rt. 144, and rerouting trucks whenever possible.
In answer to a question about the kind of businesses Coeymans is trying to attract, the supervisor said he believed those opportunities are actually coming to the town. He also emphasized the importance RCS CBA, as a non-governmental group, plays in practical ways to prepare prospective new small businesses to succeed and portray our town as an attractive place for entrepreneurs.
RCS CBA Chair Joy Iafallo encouraged everyone to attend association meetings that feature small and large business discussion, community issues and educational speakers that promote the health of the RCS area.
The next meeting on Thursday, May 20 will feature Ravena News-Herald Publisher Warren Dews, Jr. who will speak on the opportunities a local newspaper provides for individuals, groups and businesses to foster community in technologically driven world.
RCS CBA thanks the Coeymans Fire Department for use of its community room.