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Herkimer Residents Walk for Revitalization

A group of Herkimer residents gathered Tuesday night to reacquaint themselves with North Main Street. The stroll down Main Street in Herkimer was not just to take in the beautiful weather but to realize a new downtown.
A group of Herkimer residents gathered Tuesday night to reacquaint themselves with North Main Street. The stroll down Main Street in Herkimer was not just to take in the beautiful weather but to realize a new downtown.
Some residents say they have seen their Main Street go downhill over the years. The revitalization committee Herkimer Now organized the North Main Street Walk event where community members got a chance to voice their concerns while walking along the street.
"So nasty looking..." said Cynthia Quackenbush.
Quackenbush is talking about the empty stores and buildings that line north main street. She is a proud Herkimer resident and says her community needs new businesses.
"I would like to see business go into a lot of these empty storefronts it is just so sad to walk up and down and see,” said Quackenbush.
Which is why she, along with fellow residents, walked up and down main street together, assessing vacant buildings and pushing for revitalization.
“People are, you know, concerned about the empty storefronts, the condition of Main Street, the involvement of the landlords that are absentee landlords," says Herkimer resident Kathy Penree.
Besides a push for revitalization, the Herkimer Mayor says the walk is also a way to push people to reclaim their street.
"To encourage residents again to take back their Main Street, to come back down here, and to be part of a community,” said Mayor Mark Ainsworth.
Others say the walk brings back sweet memories.
"It makes me feel like when we were little and we all used to come down to Main Street and that's what we want,” said member of Herkimer Now Tina Cirelli. “We want to have a Main Street that we can be proud of we want to have a Main Street that we can walk down with our dogs and our children.”
After walking up and down the street the group of residents learned that one vacant building will soon be home to a new business.
"A pizzeria called The Pizza Shop, hopefully opening around October 15th,” said Peter Allen.
Allen is from the area and says he believes Herkimer, despite concerns, is the perfect place for his business.
"Herkimer is a college town and a lot of people and just it's a nice area, you know it's just a really nice area and I really like it,” said Allen.
And that's exactly what tonight's strollers want to hear.
Allen says if the pizza shop does well he will be putting in a coffee shop, called The Coffee Shop, right next door which will mean two new businesses for Main Street.

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