Albany, NY...Today, Senator Jen Metzger’s (SD-42) bill was signed into law, allowing Ulster County communities to raise funds for preserving open space, unique ecological areas, agricultural lands, and historic sites. The companion bill in the Assembly was introduced by Assemblymember Kevin Cahill (AD-103).
Adding Ulster County to the 2007 Hudson Valley Community Preservation Act gives Ulster County towns and villages the option enjoyed by municipalities in Dutchess, Putnam, and Westchester counties to establish a Community Preservation Fund through a modest real estate transfer tax-- a tool to help municipalities protect resources important to the community, finance conservation and better manage development. In order to set up such a fund, local governments must first obtain the approval of voters through a public referendum.
"This legislation is about giving Ulster communities the tools to safeguard their unique natural, historic, agricultural, and scenic resources for the benefit of current and future generations," said Senator Metzger. “Having worked at the local level in Ulster County for many years to protect open space and support our local farms, I am thrilled to partner with Assemblymember Cahill in providing this important opportunity to local governments for this purpose, and thank the Governor for recognizing the need to protect our irreplaceable Hudson Valley resources."
"The enactment of the Community Preservation Act into law for Ulster County is an important step forward in helping our local governments preserve open space, develop the tools needed to make housing more affordable and to responsibly plan for a sustainable future. This is yet another example of the partnership between Senator Jen Metzger, Governor Cuomo and our office which moved the needle a positive direction after it has been stuck for so long. I am proud of my sponsorship of this measure and look forward to it helping localities in a multitude of ways." said Assemblymember Cahill.
“Ulster County is fortunate to possess remarkable natural, agricultural, and historic resources that define the identity of communities and are an asset to our economy,” said Andy Bicking, Director of Public Policy for Scenic Hudson. “The Community Preservation Act enables local government to take proactive steps to keep these resources intact and protect them for the benefits they provide. Scenic Hudson commends Senator Metzger, Assemblyman Cahill and Governor Cuomo for their leadership and support of this important policy. We are committed to collaborating with local governments who want to create a local community preservation program.”
"This legislation gives local municipalities the ability to protect things like farmland, open space, and historic buildings, all of which preserve these communities’ unique character," said Neil Bettez, New Paltz Town Supervisor.