Philmont is moving towards the Master Plan

PHILMONT – A series of free public workshop presentations will be held in the Village Hall on Saturday afternoons from 3 to 5 p.m. in October and November. The presentations are part of the Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) grant awarded to the village from the New York Department of State Office of Planning and Development which is producing an economic development master plan for the village.

Guest speakers and workshops will highlight Philmont’s industrial history as a vibrant mill village, its use of water as a power source, the future possibilities of harnessing micro-hydro technology, and how waterfront development can play an important role in community revitalization.

The presentation on Saturday, October 17, was called “Linking Past & Future: Historic Interpretation.” Rediscovering Philmont’s industrial history of harnessing water power, presented by Matthew Kierstead of Milestone Heritage Consulting. Mr. Kierstead is an industrial historian and recognized authority on the cultural role of industrial heritage, including the revitalization of historic mills, and cleanup of the mining and quarrying industries in the Northeast. He will be presenting on Philmont’s historic mills and re-purposing mills and waterways of Summit Lake and Agawamuck Creek.

On Saturday, October 24, the presentation is on “Philmont’s Micro-hydro Possibilities,” an in-depth look at the potential for micro-hydro presented by Hydropower Consulting Specialists. Celeste Fay, principal engineer and environmental protection and mitigation specialist, was one of ten influential women recognized in 2014 by the PennWell’s Hydro Group as having unique talents and vision making significant contributions for the use of micro-hydro in the US. Hydropower Consulting is currently assembling a micro-hydro assessment of Summit Lake Dam and waterways of the historic canals and holding ponds in Philmont as a part of the Brownfield Opportunity Area program grant.

Saturday, November 7, the presentation is called “Repowering Philmont’s Future with Water.” Examples of other communities restoring their waterfronts will be presented by Jeff Anzevino, AICP, Scenic Hudson. Based on the beautifully illustrated Scenic Hudson book, “Revitalizing Hudson Riverfronts: Illustrated Conservation & Development Strategies for Creating Healthy, Prosperous Communities,” this presentation will show how communities in upstate New York are working to enhance and preserve the unique qualities of their waterfronts, and how revitalization of Summit Lake and its historic mills can stimulate the village economy, connect people to the waterfront, protect the environment, and offer redevelopment potential for Philmont.

Vanderbilt House, Local 111, McNans, Gabriel’s Pizza, and the Main Street Pub are open for dinner following the workshops. Tickets for dining specials will be available at the workshops. Visit Philmont to enjoy a Harlem Rail Burger at the Vanderbilt House, or a High Falls Sandwich at McNans, or maybe a Philmont Slammer at Local 111.

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