Because the project area had languished for decades, it was important that the community be part of creating a new vision for the Mill and East Spring Street. After some discussion, Village leadership created a new temporary streetscape design which became the focal point of a weeklong festival that allowed residents and visitors to “try a new design on for size”. Over the course of this festival the automobile dominated street and parking lots were transformed into a pedestrian friendly streetscape and plaza replete with opportunities for the community to engage and respond to the new design before it was even constructed.
As the design moved forward a libaility was identified — stormwater run-off, would be its strongest opportunity for redevelopment. Through New York State (NYS) Environmental Facilities Corporation and NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, green infrastructure became the driving force behind bringing the community’s vision of “a pedestrianfocused Village Center at the historic Mill” to life. Joy Kuebler’s Try It On activites led to greater community support and interest for the project. It received nearly $3 million in funding to capture and filter stormwater run-off through sidewalk planters and permeable pavers installed on the new pedestrian plaza at the Mill It also later received an additional $250,000 to support the finishing touches on this newly imagined place. In addition, the design included the elimination of erosion and sedimentation through the innovative
use of a living wall system to both stabilize the escarpment and filter stormwater.