Greg Schmidt, Bob Anderson, and Ken Walsh believe that Croton can and should become a more prominent shopping and dining destination river town. We believe that this can be accomplished if business and government work together, for the benefit of both. As a local business owner himself, and having served as Co-Chair of the Croton Business Council and President of the Croton Rotary Club, Greg Schmidt is the ideal individual to lead this effort.
Unfortunately, Croton has long had the reputation of being unfriendly to business, and we must dispel that impression. While a number of new businesses have opened in the village of their own accord in recent years, the village board has done little to help them, or any of the village’s existing businesses, achieve success. In some instances they have actually impeded their operations.
We will revive the Business Development Committee, which was disbanded under the current administration, and task it with doing just that – developing new relationships and nurturing the existing ones. We believe in the necessity of reaching out to our business owners. Their investment in our village plays a vital role in our existence. Yet, many in the business community feel they haven't been heard, or worse, have been neglected. That must change.
We will review the village’s laws and regulations affecting the establishment and operation of businesses and appropriately modify those that impede business while offering no compensating benefits in environmental protection, aesthetics, etc. We will also streamline the approval process for new ventures in the village.
The village-owned Katz property (the wooded parcel across the road from the CVS Pharmacy) has long lain idle. Several years ago, the Board solicited proposals for its sale and development, but despite receiving some attractive offers, failed to take action. This has resulted in the loss of tens of thousands of dollars of sorely needed tax revenue.
We will revive the process and, this time, we will follow through. This property is unique, in that it can be seen from the highway and sits near an entry/exit ramp. Properly developed, it has the potential to become a magnet that will draw traffic from the highway into our village. In addition to generating tax revenue, developing this property will also benefit all of the numerous commercial establishments in the immediate area
Another aspect of business development is making our business districts attractive to both the business owners who will invest in them, and the public. Village beautification has been neglected in Croton for far too long. The architectural guidelines once mentioned as an accompaniment to the Harmon rezoning law have been abandoned. We will resurrect this concept to ensure that any venture in any of our business districts meets high standards, is built with quality materials, and is aesthetically attractive to not only encourage new businesses to locate in Croton, but to draw their customers to the area as well.