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P.O. Box 182

St. Johnsville, NY 13452



Minutes Archive - 2018



2018: Aug. | Sep.12 | Oct.16 |


Friends of St. Johnsville -  October 16, 2018

Present: Jacque Devlin, Margaret DiGiacomo, Robert Smith

Name and Dues

Voted to adopt the name Friends of St. Johnsville and to collect no dues from members for the first year.

Prioritize list of assets and liabilities

Former St. Patrick's Church added to list of assets (performance space)

Lack of website added to list of liabilities (focus on activities and local interests, not businesses) Can we restore J. Berry local history info, from her website?

Speak with Polidori woman on Hough Street

It was the consensus of the group to focus on Main Street:

—Work with property owners to open spaces for new businesses

—Assist commercial property owners with historic district tax credit application forms

 —Work morning to clean weeds from Main Street sidewalks

501-c3, tax exempt status: Bob will explore and report back

Historic district plaques for homeowners: Jacque will research our options

Preservation League of NYS will do presentation on historic district tax credit program in March, 2019. Emphasize improvements do nbt result in property tax increase.

Tiny Doors discussed. Start slowly, high quality, build sense of community

Upper Mill ruin could be theatre set. Great performance space. Who owns? St. Patrick's Church - Arrange for tour with owner (Bob Bertholde, Nelliston)

Fowler Grandstand: Is it eligible for historic district rehabilitation funds?

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Friends of St. Johnsville Notes of first meeting September 12, 2018

In attendance: Bob Smith, Neil Clark, Carmen Licari, Juston Smith, Margaret DiGiacomo, Shelley Arduini, Chris Arduini, Anthony Smida, Michael Mancini, Martha Mancini, Tony Susi, Jacque Devlin

Group meeting called to address Main Street and Bridge Street advocacy and residential quality of life issues.

An inventory of assets and liabilities was compiled:

Assets Liabilities
Mohawk River, recreation & history  
Bike Path, recreation no signage on bike path to village
Campground trailer park reality
Main Street (imagined) Main Street (as is)
Reaney Library not handicapped accessible
Natural beauty light pollution, prison yard street lighting
Great water no commercial users
Historic Community House no evidence of Bates/Engelhardt, shabby
Rural countryside (visitors) isolation (residents)
Inn by the Mill for sale
Bed & Breakfast only two rooms
St. Patrick's (performance space) privately owned
Performance Therapy Fitness  












Wish list:

Nice restaurant, kayak rental, brewery, assisted living, hardware store, Kinko, Pop-ups, lessons, cooking events.

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St. Johnsville 2018 - 2023 The Beginning - August 2018

Making St. Johnsville a better place to live

During the month of August, the village lost three critical businesses— the dentist, the optometrist and the bakery. Did the St. Johnsville Chamber of Commerce president discuss this with the mayor and board of trustees at the August village board meeting? No, they discussed garage sales during the Fort Klock Craft Fair weekend.

It seems like every asset in the Village of St. Johnsville is an underperforming asset. This is especially true of village government and the St. Johnsville Chamber of Commerce— both are failing citizens and the business community.

The Chamber of Commerce cannot be fixed. By law it can never be not-for-profit/tax exempt and is therefore not eligible for major grants and cannot receive tax-deductible donations. Over the years, Chamber leadership has devolved into a beauty contest of glad-handers. I think the village has finally hit bottom and has nowhere to go but up which makes this an exciting time to be living in St. Johnsville!

I am proposing a new, transparent, volunteer organization committed to Main/Bridge Street advocacy and residential quality of life issues, open to citizens of all ages and business owners who share a vision that looks to the future, not to "this is the way we've always done it."

Imagine a five-year plan in which our short-term and long-term goals are identified and accomplished. The number one goal has to be creating a new sense of community pride and a place where everyone is welcome. We can start by asking people what they would like to do in their community and how we can help them do it. The American Legion is an excellent example of ongoing, independent community service.

Initially, this will mean digging into our own pockets to pay for such efforts. Fortunately, we have Fort Plain and Little Falls as examples of what citizens with vision can do over time. This is St. Johnsville so we can expect intense negativity and roadblocks from those who fear change or fear losing control. We can also expect cautious optimism from a lot of people who want the community to thrive but are feeling hopeless.

The number two goal must be 501c3 IRS status. This is the only path to independence, large grants and substantial donations that avoids the incompetence and political meddling of village government. As a 501c3 organization, we would have the financial means to buy buildings and resell them, help someone open a business or renovate a building or assist homeowners in getting historic district tax credits and refunds for home improvements.

This is not a short-term fix, hence the five-year timeframe. We need a small, committed core group to get this started. I'm inviting you to a brief meeting at St. Paul's Lutheran Church (downstairs) on Wednesday, September 12th, at 6PM, to determine if there is sufficient interest to move forward.

Robert E. Smith, resident and business owner 518-542-0542

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