The northern Saratoga County towns of towns of Corinth, Day, Edinburg and Hadley have commissioned a study to explore the benefits and challenges of attracting new, year-round residents, add to the work force and contribute to the local economy.
Officials said it will develop marketing to attract “those who value unspoiled natural beauty, unsurpassed recreational opportunities, lower living costs and job and educational opportunities.”
According to town officials, an October 2020 study by Upwork, a web-based platform that helps companies and individuals find skilled remote workers for required tasks, found that up to 23 million Americans plan to relocate, in many cases out of major cities and into smaller communities that have lower costs of living and are perceived to be safer and healthier.
This emerging trend led to a cooperative, regional initiative by supervisors Arthur Wright (Hadley), Preston Allen (Day), Jean Raymond (Edinburg) and Richard Lucia (Corinth), working in concert with the Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership, to address the situation.
Behan Communications Inc. in Glens Falls is conducting both an assessment of the communities’ strengths and challenges to recommend an approach to identifying adults and families who might be willing to relocate to the four towns now that working remotely has been widely accepted.
Local elected leaders are concerned about maintaining a healthy balance of younger and more senior residents as well as retaining the overall populations necessary to support essential services, keep local businesses and community assets strong, and to keep schools, volunteer fire departments and emergency squads viable.
While the communities seem remote, they are actually in close proximity to two small cities and to a larger regional community with strong commercial, industrial, retail and professional opportunities, major colleges and cultural institutions, leading health care facilities and an international airport, officials said.
Saratoga Springs, a dynamic and fast-growing small city that features world-class cultural and entertainment venues, shopping, dining and other amenities, is within a 30-minute drive as is Glens Falls, which offers manufacturing and health care employment, professional opportunities, popular entertainment, dining and shopping options.
“A home in any of the four towns typically is larger and has more land than comparably priced properties in the region’s anchor cities. People who live in the four communities have an average commute to work that is on par with that of the region’s more densely populated cities and suburban communities,” said a report prepared by Behan.
“But when they leave home, the residents of the four towns enjoy the benefit of driving on well-maintained roads through bucolic scenery. And when they return, it is to a peaceful community where a place to fish, walk in the woods, relax around a campfire or take a quick spin on a snowmobile is often right out the back door.
“Indeed, residents of the four Northern Saratoga communities enjoy the best of both worlds – rural living with easily accessible urban amenities like brew pubs, ethnic restaurants, libraries, theaters, book shops and coffee houses. The four communities have become home to an increasing number of small businesses and recreational entrepreneurs and artisans, providing a base upon which to build a new, sustainable micro-economy.