From Brownville, With Gloves (Or Mittens)

by Christopher Dunne

We came. We saw. We knocked.

Last week my esteemed colleague, Jen Topa, and I made the trek to Brownville, New York, a village of about 6,000 residents situated several miles west of Watertown on the Black River. A key crossing of the River is in need of replacement and possible relocation, a process the local Metropolitan Planning Organization wants to hear from residents on.

That’s where we come in. Decked out in our finest neon vests, we braved the elements to knock doors and leave flyers letting residents and business-owners along the project corridor know about an upcoming stakeholder workshop. With an assist from Mayor Pat Connor of the Village of Brownville and Mayor Steve Macaulay of the Village of Glen Park we were able to cover the corridor despite a distinct lack of cooperation from the weather.

The response we’ve gotten definitely made all the trudging worth it. Not only were people extra appreciative of our efforts to personally reach impacted residents, many soon followed up with calls and emails to our Project Manager, Sue Hopkins, to find out more about the workshop. We even got some news coverage to boot. A well-attended meeting at this early point in the process will help ensure that the recommendations made about the bridge will be fully informed by the people who use it most.

With the door-knocking done, we can look forward to a productive and informative workshop next week. Did I mention that it’s indoors?

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