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Harrison Residents Support Commercial Development

HARRISON, N.Y. – Harrison residents want more commercial development downtown to attract more shoppers.

“We need more shops and stores that are going to attract people from out of town to spend their money in Harrison,” said resident Cathy McCann. “Most of the businesses we have are pizzerias, dry cleaners and tile stores. We need some more options.”

McCann said that she would like to see improvements done downtown similar to what the town did in West Harrison over the previous decade. As does resident Tommy Leavy, who said that downtown could use better lighting and more parking.

“We also need more stuff for the kids to do,” Leavy said.

But some residents think that the way the town has gone about development over the last decade has not been sufficient. Resident John Ritch said that there is “too much bureaucracy” in town, which leads to the town “wasting money.” But Ritch is not against development. He said that he would like to see something done with the land on Oakland Avenue across the street from the Claremon Shopping Center.

“They’ve tried to build ball fields there before but there is a lot of dirt that sags when it rains,” Ritch said. “I’d like to see them build a cinema. We really don’t have room for more parks downtown but maybe in some section of West Harrison.”

McCann suggested that the land be used as a walking trail. Though she would support creating more open space in town, McCann said that there really isn’t anywhere to put it.

“This town needs some character,” McCann said. “We have it in some of the old buildings but we have the open land on Oakland Avenue, which only geese are utilizing right now.”

Town Board Trustee Marlane Amelio said that she is happy that the master plan is being brought back to the table adding that it is vital to have one to create a strong economic base.

“It’s great that we finally have some advocates on the town board besides me who want to get an updated master plan together,” Amelio said.

A public work session regarding the master plan will be held tomorrow night at 8 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Building located at 216 Halstead Ave.

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