Port Jervis, NY… Senator Jen Metzger (SD-42) held a press conference today at Orange Square Veterans Memorial Park in Port Jervis to announce three State and Municipal Facilities Capital (SAM) grants totaling a $400,000 in funding that the Senator secured for the city.
A $300,000 grant to the City of Port Jervis will support a variety of projects, including new sidewalks in the downtown area and improvements at Point Peter and the parking area for the reservoir trail network—two major recreational destinations in the city. "I know how valuable these kinds of projects are, having undertaken similar efforts to improve pedestrian safety and expand outdoor recreational opportunities in my own community before becoming a State Senator," said Senator Metzger. "These are important quality of life improvements for our residents and they improve the experience of visitors, helping to boost tourism and local business."
The grant will also fund restoration work on the Civil War veterans monument in Orange Square Veterans Memorial Park. The statue was originally erected in honor of the 124th Infantry Regiment “Orange Blossoms” Company F, who served for almost three years between 1862 and 1865.
"This is an important monument to restore, memorializing the veterans who fought to end slavery and help close a dark chapter in our nation's history," said Senator Metzger. "Good stewardship of local historical sites is important to honoring the history of the Port Jervis community.” The restoration company doing the monument refurbishment is a woman-owned business that City Clerk and Treasurer Robin Waizenegger found on the New York State Minority and Women Owned Business portal.
The two additional grants of $50,000 each will fund purchase of a rescue boat for the Port Jervis Fire Department and an emergency equipment-outfitted truck for the Police Department.
"The damage done by Hurricane Isaias just weeks ago and another hurricane barrelling through the U.S. today serve as a harsh reminder that we are seeing more and more severe weather as a result of climate change, and our emergency first responders need to be equipped with the public safety tools they need in these circumstances," said Senator Metzger. "I am pleased to be able to assist the Port Jervis Fire and Police Departments in meeting the needs of the day without burdening local property taxpayers with these expenses."
City of Port Jervis Mayor Kelly Decker said, “On July 5, 1886 10,000 people gathered here to dedicate this Civil War statue donated by Diana Farnum in honor of the 124th Regiment Orange Blossoms Company F that fought the freedom of America and all citizens in Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. Today we are honored to receive a SAM grant to not only refurbish this 134 year old monument, but also to replace sidewalks downtown, finish paving of the Elks-Brox Park lookout drive for our great city, as well as the Reservoir parking area for the Watershed Hiking and Biking trails. We certainly thank our Senator, Jen Metzger, for her generous consideration to our city. In addition, she generously provided grants to our city Police and Fire Departments.”
Port Jervis Police Chief William Worden said, “The Port Jervis City Police Department is grateful for Senator Metzger’s assistance in obtaining funding to acquire a special service police patrol pick-up truck to enhance uniform patrol and emergency services to our residents under challenging conditions including inclement weather conditions, serve as a mobile incident command platform to manage critical incidents and provide increased patrol access to our growing watershed recreation area. In addition, the special service vehicle will assist in the efficient facilitation of community based outreach programs by using the vehicle to transport outreach materials and supplies to support programs such as bicycle safety events, National Night Against Crime Celebrations and neighborhood Jump Out Parties greatly benefiting the health and safety of our community.”
Port Jervis Assistant Fire Chief Keith Brown said, “The Port Jervis Fire Department is grateful for the SAM funding provided to us and the diligence of Senator Metzger's work on the grant. Because of this funding, the Fire Department will be able to replace a 2005 outboard drive motor rescue boat with a newly designed and engineered jet boat giving us the ability to operate in shallow water for a more efficient and safe water rescue.”
Jen Metzger represents the 42nd Senate District, which includes all of Sullivan County and parts of Delaware, Orange, and Ulster Counties. Senator Metzger serves as Chair of the Agriculture Committee and sits on the Environmental Conservation, Education, Health, Energy and Telecommunications, Local Government, Women’s Issues, Domestic Animal Welfare, and Legislative Commission on Rural Resources Committees.