Two Saratoga County municipalities ranked among the fastest growing in population from 2015 to 2016, according to a Center for Economic Growth analysis of U.S. Census Bureau estimates.
Also growing were Saratoga Springs, Glens Falls and other municipalities, according to the data.
CEG officials said that between July 1, 2015 and July 1, 2016, populations increased in 22 and decreased in 96 Capital Region towns and cities. Only three of the region’s 10 cities—Cohoes, Gens Falls and Saratoga Springs—saw their populations grow in 2016.
However, five cities experienced annual losses below 1 percent. They were Albany (-0.2 percent), Rensselaer (-0.3 percent), Troy (-0.3 percent), Watervliet (-0.7 percent) and Schenectady (-0.7 percent).
Out of the region’s growing towns and cities, eight were in Saratoga County and two were in Warren County, CEG said. Those municipalities and the number of additional residents from 2015 to 2016 were: Saratoga Springs 31, Malta 827, Milton 229, Halfmoon 204, Moreau 134, Stillwater 96, Wilton 76, Waterford 60, Glens Falls 69, Queensbury 38.
CEG said the annual population gains of Cohoes, Glens Falls and Saratoga Springs underscore the importance of revitalizing downtowns and, when applicable, connecting them to waterfront areas.
To support investments to those ends, New York last year launched a $100 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI). Under this initiative and through a competitive process, one community in each of the state’s 10 regions will be awarded $10 million to advance “specific catalytic, implementation-ready projects that align with the community’s vision for the revitalization of their unique downtown area and are consistent with the DRI’s program goals.”
Glens Falls was named the Capital Region’s DRI Round 1 winner, beating nine other Capital Region cities and villages. Half of the Glens Falls’ DRI award will go toward a market on South Street that will strengthen the city’s connection to regional agriculture resources and provide opportunities for local retailers, artisans, restaurateurs and farmers. Other projects include the relocation of SUNY Adirondack’s culinary school in downtown, streetscape improvements, the development of a mile-long public arts trail through downtown and more.
Applications for DRI Round 2, through which another $100 million would be awarded to 10 communities statewide, were due June 14. Awards will be announced in the coming months.