This year, for the first time, Senator Bonacic served on Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council. That enabled him to help direct funding to several projects important to many of our communities. In fact, this year, the Mid-Hudson Region was allocated an extra 38% in aid compared to last year. Some of the key projects include:
* Funding to restore the Fleischmanns’ Theater and create a small business development fund in the Towns of Middletown, Roxbury, and Andes.
* Renovations to the Walton Arms for a special events center and hotel for conferences and events.
* Funding to help bring Touro College to the former Horton Hospital. This is projected to create hundreds of jobs in the City of Middletown over the next few years. It will lead to more spending in local stores. This was a real priority for Middletown Mayor Joe DeStefano and I. We were both very pleased to see it funded.
* Funding to start the development of a whitewater kayaking park in Port Jervis. This was a key priority of Mayor Russ Potter’s and something that can help grow tourism in Western Orange County. If done correctly, this could lead to higher income persons coming to visit our region, spend time along the Delaware River, and grow the regional economy.
* Funding to help create over 300 jobs at the Center for Discovery. The project will create a Regional Children’s Assessment Center and integrated specialty hospital for children with autism, severe developmental disabilities, and medical complexities. Many families are affected by these challenges and the Center for Discovery provides among the best services in the entire United States of America for those families. This is a huge win for Sullivan County in terms of jobs and a great win for families who need help with these concerns.
* Funding was secured for improvements in projects in the Village of Liberty, Narrowsburg, White Sulphur Springs, and Bethel as well.
* A key priority of County Legislators, including Chairman Terry Bernardo and Economic Development Chair Jim Maloney, along with the County Executive and Town Supervisor Jim Quigley, was the Promenade project in the Town of Ulster and City of Kingston. Funding was awarded to jumpstart this project which will create many construction and permanent jobs and help with tourism in Ulster County.
* Other projects funded include the Hudson Valley Food Hub to help our farmers get their product to market across the region and grow the agricultural industry; along with initiatives such as the Naponach Sewer District funding which was a priority for Town Supervisor Scott Carlsen and projects in New Paltz, Marbletown, Saugerties, Kingston, and elsewhere in Ulster County.