Lake Champlain - Lake George Regional Planning Board
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Strategic Direction and Action Plan

Mission

Promoting sustainable economic development that strengthens our communities, provides quality jobs, and preserves the unique natural, historical, and cultural characteristics of the region.

Vision

The vision of the Lake Champlain-Lake George Region is that of two small, central cities, with neighboring villages, hamlets, and suburbs. The communities are strong, vibrant centers, steeped in history, offering employment and services to residents. The region is in the Champlain-Hudson Corridor, one of the world’s richest international markets. Businesses participate in the growing and challenging world economy. The diversified land areas are characterized by the Adirondack High Peaks, and the many lakes, streams, and rivers. These unique features define vibrant four season tourist and agricultural industries that strengthens the economy and supports rural communities. Recreational opportunities and natural beauty abounds for both residents and visitors.  Historic and environmental preservation is revered. Children learn in community schools that offer safe education at the cutting edge of technology. Challenging jobs offering a living, family wage await graduates. Economic and community growth is managed and planned, thereby preserving historic community centers while offering full employment to residents. It is an area where the quality of life, one of the most valuable assets, is revered by residents and envied by visitors. 

Priorities 

Programs initiated and individual projects supported by the Lake Champlain-Lake George Regional Planning Board must meet the objectives of the mission and vision statements. Priorities identify those areas of greatest need in the region, enhance the region’s competitive advantages, reflect the current resources, represent the best use of those resources, and will have positive economic ecological and social impacts.  

The main economic development goals of the region are: 

Development of the Workforce 

  • Strive to achieve full employment. 
  • Increase job opportunities through business and economic development efforts. 
  • Improve job skills of existing workers to meet the needs of the future.
  • Support job retention efforts. 
  • Support job retraining. 
  • Support career development in the schools. 

Development of the Infrastructure (water, sewer, gas, and telecommunications) 

  • Provide infrastructure to upgrade and renovate industrial sites. 
  • Improve access in rural areas. 
  • Extend services into growth areas (including new business parks). 
  • Continue upgrades of telecommunications technology. 
  • Improve outdated and antiquated systems. 
  • Utilize existing capacity. 
  • Improve support services to existing businesses. 

Improving Transportation 

  • Improve access to I-87 from rural communities. 
  • Encourage the most appropriate mix of transportation modes. 
  • Improve border crossing into Canada. 
  • Improve traffic flow in congested areas. 
  • Encourage access management planning. 

Promoting Recreation and Tourism 

  • Promote and expand regional tourism attractions. 
  • Encourage the coordination of tourism activities. 
  • Encourage development of “off-season” attractions. 
  • Support development of convention centers. 

Leveraging Capital Resources 

  • Promote consolidation and coordination of programs and activities. 
  • Promote grantsmanship. 
  • Provide technical assistance to local governments to increase grant funding. 
  • Develop new capital programs for investment in the region. 
  • Attract new capital from outside sources through tourism and economic development efforts. 

Economic Development Strategies

Promoting Entrepreneurship 
Retaining/Expanding Existing Businesses 
Building Community Capacity 
Expanding Networks and Regional Cooperation 
Encouraging Import Substitution 
Developing Public Awareness 
Promoting Workforce Development 
Diversifying Industry
Attracting Tourism  

Evaluation

Projects are evaluated based on the following criteria:

Community need 
Local capacity 
Project impact 
Project readiness 

Need should be demonstrated by employment and unemployment numbers, low wages or similar measurement. Preference is given to sustainable development that matches the physical resources of the region. Identification of need should not be limited to human resources, but also include social and physical needs of the community. 

Capacity includes the ability of the community to service the project. This includes provision of both the physical and social infrastructure. Projects must be of appropriate size and scale matched to the community. Where necessary, the Regional Planning Board will utilize resources to improve infrastructure to meet project demands (i.e., extend water, sewer, energy, and telecommunications). 

Impact is measured in economic and environmental terms. Typical impact measures include jobs created, spin-off benefits, and other economic impact measures. Where necessary, economic impact measures will be prepared to document the positive advantages to a proposal. Negative impacts on the community and the environment will also be considered and mitigation measures applied where appropriate. 

Project readiness is defined through local planning and zoning, infrastructure, permits and feasibility. Community planning and support must be demonstrated prior to the investment of Planning Board resources. 

Project timing is important and projects will be processed on a first come, first served basis. Feasible projects will consistently be supported. Projects can be included into the CEDS at any time and the CEDS will be updated accordingly.

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