State Senator Patty Ritchie, the chair of the New York State Senate Agriculture Committee, visited the Strano farm in Oswego County to discuss agricultural issues with Oswego Farm Bureau and the Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District. Shown are Nancy Weber (President of Oswego Farm Bureau), Senator Ritchie, Freddy Strano and John DeHollander (District Manager, Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District). Oswego County is one of New York state's leading agricultural counties. Senator Ritchie recently met with onion and vegetable growers to discuss drainage issues affecting some Oswego County farms after last spring's extensive rainy season.
State Senator Patty Ritchie recently met with Robert O. McNeil of Lisbon and Russell B. Strait of Waddington to discuss the St. Lawrence River Valley Redevelopment Agency (RVRDA) and the county's economic development efforts to attract new jobs and businesses to the North Country. McNeil chairs the economic development panel and Strait represents Waddington on its board of directors
State Senator Patty is asking her constituents what they think about Governor Andrew Cuomo’s suggestion that New York should take a look at legalizing Las Vegas-style casino gambling.
“Advocates of legalized casino gambling, including a group that wants to build a casino in Alexandria Bay in the Thousand Islands, say casinos will bring more tourists and create jobs,” Senator Ritchie said. “Opponents worry about issues of problem gambling and its impact on families and communities.”
“That’s why I have created an on-line poll on my Senate website to give the people of Northern and Central New York an opportunity to advise me on what they think I should do when the Senate considers this idea,” Senator Ritchie said. “Governor Cuomo wants to start a statewide discussion about how our state should regulate casino gambling and where we should allow it, if we allow it outside Native American reservations.”
State Senator Patty Ritchie is calling on the chancellor and the State University of New York to commit to a transparent and open process of consultation with the North Country as it develops a plan to share services between SUNY Canton and SUNY Potsdam.
"SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Canton are two very distinct institutions that serve very different groups of students," Senator Ritchie said. "It is very important that SUNY works together to insure that it preserves the separate identity of these colleges so they can continue to serve our region."
Last Thursday, I met Lexi, a therapy dog at The Chatty K-9, a combination pet store, dog grooming and dog training business in the village of Central Square.
I was spending the day in Central Square as part of my second mobile district office program that I started last month to help make it easier for the residents of Central and Northern New York to get help from their state government.
Since January, I have opened full-time offices in Oswego County, Jefferson County and St. Lawrence County where my staff is available five days a week to help with state or other government offices.
State Senator Patty Ritchie, an avid snowmobiler and outdoors person who has championed the sport both in her previous role as County Clerk and now as State Senator, was named “Legislator of the Year” by the state’s leading sled riders’ group.
The New York State Snowmobile Association presented its coveted “Bill Sears Appreciation Award” to Senator Ritchie at the group’s annual meeting Saturday in Cicero, Onondaga County.
Sen. Ritchie, who has been riding for over 40 years, owns several sleds and regularly rides trails throughout St. Lawrence County, is the first freshman lawmaker to receive the honor, named for the former State Senator from Central New York who was an early advocate for snowmobiling, and who helped create a statewide trail system that today spans more than 11,000 miles and is a boon to the wintertime economies of many Upstate communities.
State Senator Patty Ritchie (R-C, Heuvelton) said that a bill she cosponsored with Sen. Joseph A. Griffo to expand the Ogdensburg Foreign Trade Zone to include all of St. Lawrence County, which was signed into law today by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, will help create jobs by making the North Country a gateway to overseas companies and global commerce.
Sen. Ritchie’s bill expands Foreign Trade Zone No. 118 from its present 70 acres located at the Port of Ogdensburg to include businesses in Massena, Canton, Potsdam, Gouverneur and communities throughout the county, creating the largest FTZ geographically in New York—a whopping 2,821 square miles.
“With the only US port on the St. Lawrence Seaway, Ogdensburg and St. Lawrence County are uniquely positioned to lure foreign businesses who are looking to import or trans-ship products to Canada, the Midwest and beyond,” Senator Ritchie said. “By expanding our Foreign Trade Zone countywide, we can increase the opportunity for foreign companies to do business in St. Lawrence County, increase demand for shipping and storage, and create the possibility for new manufacturing operations—all of which translates into more jobs.”
State Senator Patty Ritchie today announced that her bill that boosts riding stables and other “commercial equine operations,” which will also translate to more business for farmers and suppliers, was signed into law by Gov. Cuomo.
The new law allows operators to qualify for agricultural assessments and other benefits that are extended to more traditional farms and horse boarding facilities.
“This new law boosts the horse industry by recognizing its growing importance and popularity and, as a result, helps other farmers and small businesses that provide the feed, grain and other supplies to horse owners, riders and enthusiasts,” said Sen. Ritchie.
Gov’s ‘New Way of Thinking’ Targets Age-old Challenge
State Senator Patty Ritchie (R-C, Heuvelton) today hailed the announcement of the new Northern New York Economic Development Council, and predicted Gov. Cuomo’s new “bottoms-up” approach to job creation will pay dividends for the region’s struggling economy.
Senator Ritchie joined Gov. Cuomo at SUNY Potsdam as he introduced the members of the new job-creating council, one of 10 from across the state that includes leading business, civic and community leaders now charged with directing the state’s economic development policies in a seven-county Northern Region, including Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties. The Governor unveiled his Central Regional Council, which covers Oswego County earlier this week in Syracuse.
State Senator Patty Ritchie announced Friday that Brookfield Renewable Power, the owner of the hydroelectric dam at Heuvelton, will restock the Oswegatchie River upstream from the village in the wake of last spring’s dam break.
On June 8, a gate on the dam ruptured, draining millions of gallons of water from the reservoir.
When Senator Ritchie was notified by neighbors and sportsmen of the dam break, she immediately dispatched her staff to the scene, reached out to St. Lawrence county emergency responders and Brookfield Renewable Power.
Thanks Staff for Efforts that Helped Keep Facilities Open
State Senator Patty Ritchie returned to Cape Vincent Correctional Facility today to thank the officers, staff and administrators for their efforts to help keep the North Country facilities open, and to celebrate the news that every prison in St. Lawrence and Jefferson Counties has been spared the budget ax.
“Back in January, I visited each of the prisons in Jefferson and St. Lawrence County, and gathered information from staff and officers about just how efficient and cost-effective these facilities are, representing a better deal for state taxpayers,” Senator Ritchie said.
Union, Management Reach Agreement For Nine Mile Plants
State Senator Patty Ritchie and Assemblyman Will Barclay praised the members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and Constellation Energy for reaching an agreement that ended a strike at both Nine Mile nuclear energy plants.
The union approved the new contract Tuesday in a 395 to 64 vote.
Senator Ritchie and Assemblyman Barclay met with both the union and management last week to ask both sides to return to the table to resume negotiations.
“The announcement that the strike has ended is welcome news to the families of both the union and management as well as the Greater Oswego community,” Senator Ritchie (R,C-Heuvelton) said. “The Nine Mile plants have enjoyed strong community support for decades, largely because of the outstanding relationship the workers have had with the company. Everyone is breathing a sigh of relief today at this terrific news.”
A few weeks ago, I spent the weekend with my family at Eel Weir State Park, one of New York State’s best kept secrets among its 178 state parks and historic sites.
Located on the Oswegatchie River, just two miles from Black Lake, Eel Weir was honored a few years ago by a national park organization for its outstanding canoe access. With just 38 campsites, a picnic area, and a pavilion, locals know it as a terrific place to relax, picnic, camp and catch bass.
While I was there, it struck me how little most of us know about the individual New York State Parks outside of our immediate neighborhoods.
State Senator Patty Ritchie praised Novelis for the company’s decision to invest $200 million in its Oswego County operations to expand the company’s aluminum sheet production for the automotive industry which is expected to add 100 new jobs in Central New York.
“I want to thank Novelis for believing in the future of Oswego County and New York State,” Senator Ritchie said. “Last month, I sponsored my Career Expo that featured Novelis and other companies. The people who applied for positions at Novelis at my job fair will have an opportunity to be considered for those 100 new jobs.”