The Ticonderoga Revitalization Alliance had seemed to be on track over the last year, working aggressively to kick start the village’s struggling downtown.
The group hired an executive director, Justin Woods, from Ogdensburg, who then recruited Besty Lowe, the woman who spearheaded creation of the Wild Center in Tupper Lake, to do fundraising.
Press releases popped, full of new projects and energy. But then this week, the group announced that most of its staff, including Woods and Lowe, would be laid off because of budget shortfalls. This from the Plattsburgh Press Republican.
The other three other alliance staff members, including Cornell University graduate student Anne Flusche, who joined the organization recently to do planning, will also be leaving when their contracts are up at end of the month.
The Ti Alliance is a nonprofit local development corporation whose stated mission is to restore economic prosperity in the Ticonderoga region. It had started hosting community events, including a recent performance by the Lake Placid Sinfonietta.
Alliance Board member Sanford Morehouse said in an email that this will be a time for them to regroup.
“We are disappointed that we can no longer afford Justin; his experience and guidance was instrumental in getting us to where we are today,” he wrote. “We all learned a lot from his experience, and we now have the opportunity to take what we’ve learned over the past year and develop a more sustainable business plan.”
This is tough news for a community that has struggled to translate incredible assets — the IP mill, Fort Ticonderoga, its location on the NY-Vermont border, into fresh energy.