Arkville business owners making plans for hamlet improvements

By Brian Sweeney
More than 20 Arkville business owners and organizational leaders turned out for a public meeting last Thursday to express interest in seeking funds to improve the hamlet’s appearance. The MARK Project, a community economic development agency, organized the meeting at Casey Joe’s Coffeehouse. The focus of the session was to determine if business representatives were interested in MARK seeking grants to make improvements in Arkville.
MARK Director Peg Ellsworth outlined the funding options that community members have available for rehabilitating buildings and improving the streetscape appearance.
There was general interest among the community members for MARK to pursue funding to improve the hamlet.
Given the directive by the business community to explore funding opportunities, Mrs. Ellsworth followed up with an outline of recommendations for the group to consider.
Because of the consensus at the meeting, Mrs. Ellsworth said that MARK would continue to work on an application for Smart Growth economic development funding. This program is designed to assist property owners with building improvements.
She said that MARK will also explore opportunities for streetscape funding. If obtained, the goal would be for these funds to improve the appearance of the Route 28 and county Route 38 corridors with elements such as benches, lighting, landscaping and signage. If funding is obtained, Mrs. Ellsworth said the streetscape work could be implemented this spring or summer.
If additional funding is secured, the resources would be combined for a greater impact.
MARK plans to organize another Arkville community meeting to get input for funds usage if any funds are obtained.
Mrs. Ellsworth also indicated that MARK will work the business community on some promotional pieces for Arkville. She suggested that one element would be a trail map for hikers and bikers and the other being a come eat, sleep, learn, shop and play in Arkville that notes all the opportunities to be found in the hamlet.
As an example of the “what to do” in Arkville, the MARK director pointed to The Catskill Center and Catskill Forest Association as educational facilities, the Delaware & Ulster Railroad, Arkville Bikeville, Fitness in Motion gym and Margaretville Bowl as recreation facilities. She also noted Dreamland Emporium Antiques and Roberts’ Auction as shopping choices, plus the Meadowood B&B and the Pakatakan Motel for those seeking overnight accommodations.
With these elements coming together toward a common goal, Mrs. Ellsworth said it would then make sense to call upon the state representatives in the summer months to visit and give their thoughts as to how a NY Main Street Program for Arkville would work best.