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Fort Plain's economy will need help

As Fort Plain residents plan for the future, state Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk, D-Duanesburg, is particularly worried about where they will work.

"We have to help the businesses get up and running as soon as possible," she said on Saturday afternoon after surveying damage in the village. "A lot of people lost their jobs, like the Save-a-Lot, which employs 20 people."

Not only did Fort Plain's main grocery store employ people, it also purchased produce from local farms.

Fort Plain Mayor Guy Barton said it is an imperative for the village to reopen the Save-a-Lot and he said the owners are committed to staying in the area, but need a new spot. He said they are currently looking at possible new locations, as the current spot has been flooded multiple times in the past half century.

Fort Plain resident Jami Stevens, who lives on Abbott Street, said she always shops at Save-a-Lot and that almost the entire village relies on it for groceries.

Looking at the village's entire economic outlook after the flooding, Barton said, "It has done a tremendous amount of damage to the local economy."

Tkaczyk said she will explore the recovery options available through the state's Empire State Development Corporation, which might mean lines of credit or tax breaks for businesses. "I am going to look at what assistance is available to help businesses open their doors again," she said.

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