The St. Lawrence County Seat

Canton Residents Asked for Ideas on How to Transform Downtown

August 26, 2021

The Village of Canton is preparing an application to the 2021 round of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative competition. There are some exciting changes to the program this year. The State has designated $200 million in the 2021 state budget to help communities develop plans and implement projects that will “transform their downtown neighborhoods into vibrant communities where residents want to live, work, and raise families.”

The DRI divides the state into 10 regions; each region can award either $20 million to one community, or $10 million to two communities. This will be the fifth application for the Village of Canton. Previous recipients of the grant in the North Country region include Plattsburgh, Watertown, Saranac Lake, and most recently, Potsdam.

To prepare for the grant application, the Village of Canton is soliciting input about how to transform downtown and ideas for projects that could revitalize Canton. “The more ideas we have the better” says Economic Development Director Leigh Rodriguez. “We will be submitting a list of potential projects.”

“We are looking for ideas and input from everyone,” Ms. Rodriguez said. “We have had very competitive proposals over the last few years. We have relied on community input to help us focus on what the people of Canton really want, and we need to hear from them again this year. Community involvement in this process is of critical importance.”

Public meetings were conducted Thursday, September 2, to offer the community an opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas with the Village for the application. If you were not able to participate in one of the virtual sessions, you are encouraged to share your thoughts by answering the questions in this brief survey. Your input is invaluable and broad public participation demonstrates to application reviewers that there is community support for the proposed projects.

Applications will be reviewed by the North Country Regional Economic Development Council, which, based on the potential for transformation, nominates applications to be forwarded to the state selection team. After a community is awarded funding, Ms. Rodriguez said, there is “an intense planning process,” followed by formal solicitation and selection of projects by a local planning committee.

More information is available on the Canton DRI website and on Facebook page or from Leigh Rodriguez, Director of Economic Development, at (315) 386-2871 x5 or

Last modified: September 2, 2021

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