It was Brattleboro vs. Saranac Lake in the final round of the Strongest Town competition, held in a Zoom forum on Monday afternoon.
Brattleboro Planning Director Sue Fillion had her ‘I (heart) Brattleboro’ shirt on as she explained the wonders of the Town of Brattleboro to Mike Pasternock and Rachel (?) from Strongest Towns. They asked about nature and seasons, arts and culture, housing, attracting young talent, being kid in summer, and other issues. There were also questions from the audience.
Sue did a great job reviewing what the Town has done to become stronger, including mentions of the floodplain relocations, new housing planned for the old Austine campus, attracting refugees and young professionals to the area, Living Memorial Park, swimming holes, sidewalks, trails, and MAPLE creamees, COVID, and more.
Saranac Lake was represented by Charli Lomino, who did an equally great job with his details of upcoming projects such as downtown apartments, a developed community in the old sanitarium, revitalized old hotels, a struggle not to be too touristy, the skate park and youth center, outdoor recreation, Olympians, local developers, bans on people outside the town owning short term rentals, and more.
Both locations have similarities in the issues they face, but take different approaches toward solving them.
Voting closes 12pm CT Thursday April 13th