Murray seeks input on how to better utilize local assets for tourism and recreation

Photo by Tom Rivers: This bicycle with flowers is pictured last August by the Erie Canal in Hulberton.

Staff Reports Posted 2 June 2020 at 8:51 am

MURRAY – The Town of Murray is hosting a meeting through Zoom videoconferencing today, welcoming feedback on how Murray could better utilize agricultural, historic assets and other natural resources in the community.

The Erie Canal, streams and lakes, historic sites and agriculture support the region’s tourism economy, including agri-tourism, providing recreational opportunities, and represent the natural, historic and cultural richness of the Town of Murray.

As part of its Comprehensive Plan Update, the Town of Murray has organized a “virtual” public forum from 5:30 to 7 p.m. today to explore opportunities to build on these resources to benefit the Town and region.

The forum will include presentations from representatives of businesses and county government, who will share their perspective about these resources and how the Town can leverage them to improve the area’s quality of life and support local businesses. The Town’s planning consultants will describe the Town’s natural, agricultural and historic resources and their significance to the Town’s Comprehensive Plan.

Panelists include James Bensley, Orleans County Planning Director who is working on the Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan for the Erie Canal; Dawn Borchert, Orleans County Tourism Director who will discuss tourism promotion; Ken DeRoller, Orleans County Legislator who will offer a county government perspective and share ideas to better utilize the Erie Canal; Max Han of Red Rocks Ponds RV Resort; Amy Machamer, Hurd Orchards owner who will discuss agri-tourism; and Cindy Diehl, owner of the Hickory Ridge Golf Course and Resort.

LaBella Associates will host the meeting an offer an overview presentation.

The agenda includes:

5:30 – 5:35: Joe Sidonio, Town Supervisor, and Chad Fabry, Chairman of Comprehensive Planning Committee, will open the meeting and welcome the participants.

5:35 – 5:45: Barbara Johnston, Planning Consultant for the Comprehensive Plan, will give an overview of the Comprehensive Plan process, briefly summarize the natural, historic, agricultural, recreational and tourism resources in the Town and existing programs and regulations, and present the objectives of this workshop.

5:45 – 6:15: Panelist presentations (5-10 minutes each.) Each panelist will address the following questions from their perspective:

  • What assets or resources in the Town of Murray are most valuable for recreation or tourism?
  • How do these resources or assets support business development and/or recreational opportunities for residents?
  • What are some of the challenges or obstacles affecting tourism and recreation in the Town?
  • Are you aware of any Town zoning regulations that may unreasonably restrict business development relating to recreation or tourism, including agri-tourism?
  • How can the Town or other entities support business development relating to its natural, historic and agricultural resources? Do you have any ideas for specific projects or programs?

6:15 – 6:30: Questions/Discussion with Comprehensive Plan Committee members

6:30 – 6:55: Questions/Discussion with the public

6:55 – 7:00: Wrap-up/Next steps

Check the town’s website (click here) for the Zoom instructions.

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