POUGHKEEPSIE—Senator Steve Saland (R,I,C-Poughkeepsie) has secured $1.25 million in New York State funding for Walkway Over the Hudson’s effort to transform the Poughkeepsie Highland Railroad Bridge into the world’s longest elevated park. The funding is in addition to the $8 million already approved as part of the New York State’s 2008-09 budget.
"I don’t know where we’d be without Steve Saland," said Fred Schaeffer, Chairman of the Walkway Over the Hudson Board of Directors. "Senator Saland fought to keep the $8 million allocation to Walkway in the budget during difficult negotiations in Albany last month and now he has delivered this crucial piece of additional funding. We are extremely grateful for his unbending support."
"Walkway Over the Hudson is the culmination of many years of hard work and planning by citizens dedicated to preserving what was once the longest bridge in the world," said Senator Saland in a release announcing the allocation. "I was successful in insuring the Governor’s $8 million appropriation for the Walkway was not eliminated during the budget deliberations. I am pleased to announce that I have secured an additional $1.25 million to help make this project a reality."
The $1.25 million for Walkway Over the Hudson along with other grants for projects around the State, are contained in a legislative resolution. As required by the New York State Economic Development Assistance Program, created in the State Budget, the resolution must first be reviewed by the NYS Division of the Budget for ten business days. It will be passed after the Legislature returns from its April break.
With the $9.25 million now being provided by New York State, Walkway Over the Hudson has secured $13.25 million from various sources toward its $30 million fundraising goal. The Poughkeepsie-based nonprofit will request that New York State allocate another $8 million toward the effort in next year’s budget, leaving the remainder to be raised through fundraising efforts directed at foundations, corporations, individuals, and other government sources.
"Thanks to Senator Saland we are much closer to our goal," said Walkway’s Executive Director Amy Husten. "With this funding from New York State in place we will begin demolition and construction on the railroad bridge within the next month. We’re well on our way to finishing this project in time for the state’s Quadricentennial Celebration in September, 2009."
For more information about Walkway Over the Hudson visit www.walkway.org or call the office at 845-454-9649.
Submitted by Walkway Over the Hudson
Contacts: Fred Schaeffer, Chairman, Walkway Over the Hudson, 845-518-6071
Amy Husten, Executive Director, Walkway Over the Hudson, 845-454-9649
Stephen Densmore, Press Liaison, 845-234-8713