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AUBURN — The group of Auburn community members who will lead the city through the Downtown Revitalization Initiative planning process was announced Tuesday during the group's first meeting. 

The local planning committee will meet monthly through March to develop the city's strategic plan, or a final list of projects that will be submitted to the state for funding. The group's members were chosen by the state Department of State. City of Auburn Director of Capital Projects Christina Selvek said city staff made recommendations of what kinds of organizations and agencies are in the city that could be interested in participating, but the state made the final decision on selecting committee members. 

The committee is being co-chaired by Mayor Michael Quill and Cayuga Economic Development Agency Executive Director Tracy Verrier. The other members include: 

• Keith Cutler, CEO of East Hill Medical 

• Angela Daddabbo, artistic director at Auburn Public Theater

• Ray Richardson, care manager at Cayuga Centers 

• Demetrius Murphy, vice president and branch manager at Lyons National Bank

• Stephanie DeVito, executive director of the Auburn Downtown Business Improvement District

• Patrick Heery, pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church 

• Dia Carabajal, Auburn city councilor 

• Joel Campagnola, president of Nick's Ride 4 Friends

• Andrew Fish, of the Cayuga Fund

• Brian Durant, president of Cayuga Community College 

• John Currier, president of Currier Plastics

• James Hutchinson, of the Auburn Local Development Corporation 

The committee will meet from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of every month, except for December, when the meeting will be held on the third Tuesday due to Christmas. Each meeting will take place at a different location. 

Kimberly Baptiste, from the planning firm Bergmann Associates, said the committee holds the "most imperative role in this process." Bergmann was hired by the state to serve as the city's consultant for the DRI process. $300,000 of the city's $10 million award went toward paying Bergmann.

Although the city submitted a list of projects seeking funding in its DRI application earlier this year, those projects are not guaranteed funding. There is still the opportunity for people to submit ideas for new projects to the committee. The application will be available Monday on the auburnsparks.com/dri or ny.gov/dri. A hard copy will also be available at Memorial City Hall. Project applications are due back to the committee by Nov. 2. 

The local planning committee will have its next meeting on Oct. 23, with the location to be determined. All planning committee meetings are open to the public and will include time for public comment. However, three public workshops will also be held in October, December and March. The first workshop will take place at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 23 at a yet-to-be-determined location. 

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Staff writer Natalie Brophy can be reached at (315)282-2239 or natalie.brophy@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter @brophy_natalie

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