MALTA: Malta residents envision future

Consultants for the town of Malta estimate that a final green space, historic preservation and economic development plan for downtown will be ready for town board approval in September.

By the time the plan reaches the board, the consultants -- River Street Planning, Synthesis Architects, and Transportation Concepts will have developed land use plans, streetscapes, and established some community focal points.

This will provide a sense of community, a sense of downtown, and green gathering areas," said Heather Mallozzi, the town's building, planning and development director. "Really it is a master plan for the downtown."

About 35 people showed up for a community workshop held Wednesday, June 13, to review findings from a downtown walking tour the week before. Tour participants walked through parts of downtown and noted the various land uses, as well as identified the things they liked or disliked about the existing layout.

"This is your plan," said Mallozzi to those at the workshop. "You are here to help mold the vision."

Also at the workshop were town board members, several members of the planning board, members of the economic development committee and the steering committee for the new plan. A few interested residents were also present.

Councilman Cliff Lange asked how more members of the public might be included in the decision making process.

Margaret Irwin, a consultant with River Street Planning, said there will be more community sessions, but she also asked that residents contact the Malta planning department with comments and suggestions. Irwin said she would be working with the town to have project information posted on the town Web site.

Mallozzi noted that the complete project information would be available for review in the planning department.

At the workshop, the group was divided into six smaller units and asked to answer several questions regarding the positives of the downtown area and places that could use improvement. The groups were also asked to describe their vision for Malta's downtown in five, 10 and 20 years.

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