Broome County pitches its new 10-year plan

By Matt Porter

December 18, 2013 Updated Dec 18, 2013 at 7:33 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) When County Executive Debbie Preston took office, she said one of her goals was to chart the county's long term future.

On Wednesday, she unveiled the details of a new comprehensive plan which will be taken up at Thursday's county legislature meeting.

"I've always believed whether it be in the county or whether it be in one of the municipalities, you need this roadmap, and that's a comprehensive plan," Preston told reporters.

The more than 319 page report outlines a 10-year plan for Broome County.

The plan outlines 7 targets.

One is to invest in so-called "Legacy Sites," large areas that need help.

Chief Planner Frank Evangelisti says there are a number of run down properties that could be rebuilt into something new.

"Things like the BAE site, Gander Mountain, and the Vestal Nursing Center," Evangelisti said. "Coming up for reuse plans for those sites, so they don't just sit there and decay."

Input from the plan came from dozens of stakeholders, community forums and leaders in the community.

Many of the other target areas involve promoting and providing incentives for community members to beautify or restore areas that have fallen apart.

Many of the initiatives are community based and don't require any extra spending from the county.

"That's one of the things the communities said to us early on, was high taxes are a concern, don't do anything to raise taxes," Evangelisti said.

The comprehensive plan seeks to bring more innovative businesses by creating iDistricts.

An iDistrict would be an area in a municipality where incentives would be provided to high-tech, innovative businesses who choose to move there.

Flood prevention and mitigation continues to be one of the largest issues of the plan.

It includes a number of ways to redesign or reeducate businesses to be smarter before a flood.

Preston said another major flood disaster is inevitable.

"We're not just going to stand here and say we're never going to get another flood," she said. "I think we all agree that we probably are. We just don't know when or how bad."

The plan will be addressed at the next county legislature meeting on Thursday December 19.

Preston expects the plan to be approved.