The Town of Cape Vincent - Village Comprehensive Planning committee met yesterday and continued to address revisions to the lost plan developed in 2003.
The committee was presented with a report indicating that the population and economic performance of Cape Vincent during the last decade was less than ideal. Population growth in Cape Vincent declined approximately 4% from 2000 to 2010. This was a reverse of the the trend of 1970 to 2000 when there was steady growth. More problematic was Cape Vincent's growth compared to other towns in Jefferson County. From 2000 to 2010, Cape Vincent was next to last. It was 21 out of 22 towns in the ranking of population growth within the county.
Committee members participated in a lengthy discussion addressing the possible reasons for this phenomenon. One committee member opined that the threat of industrial wind development and the malcontent generated by that threat made people stop and think before they consider a move to the Cape. Others agreed that the appearance of industrial wind turbines on Wolfe Island has prevented many potential residents from purchasing homes in Cape Vincent.
One committee member, who is also in the real estate business, declared that he had no doubt in his mind that the Wolfe Island turbines and the speculation of more within the river view shed has prevented Cape Vincent property sales. Other area real estate dealers have confirmed that in their discussions. Potential Cape Vincent home buyers lose interest as soon as they hear of the proximity of the Wolfe Island turbines and the threat of more to come.
Committee members also discussed the ever-imposing threat of the Village and Town losing their elementary school. Members felt that young families with smaller children desire a home close to a school. Moving to Cape Vincent and then having their children bussed to Clayton would not be ideal.
Another factor considered by the committee is the impact of Fort Drum. Although Fort Drum has been a substantial growth factor for the rest of Jefferson County, the longer commuting time to Cape Vincent is a negative factor. Also, there has not been a lot of past effort in finding ways for Cape Vincent to take advantage of the growth of Fort Drum.
The Town of Cape Vincent - Village Comprehensive Plan committee appears to be well along in the process and are now reviewing and up-dating the section of the plan which addresses strength, weaknesses of, opportunity, and threats to Cape Vincent lifestyle and healthy development.