State Senator John J. Bonacic made multiple stops in Delaware County on Thursday, celebrating some major achievements and calling on Senate Democrats to release long promised money they are holding hostage for political reasons.
Bonacic has been a key player in keeping several hospitals in the 42nd State Senate District – which includes all of Delaware County, along with all of Sullivan County, most of Ulster County, and Northwest Orange County. In Delaware County, Bonacic has directly intervened to keep Margaretville Hospital open, and led the effort to re-open The Hospital in Sidney as Tri-Town Regional Hospital.
“Keeping rural hospitals open is key. Not only do they provide jobs, they are critical, life-saving facilities. We don’t live in Manhattan where the next hospital is a few blocks away. We need to keep our hospitals open, and I will always fight to do so,” Bonacic said.
Bonacic led the effort which ultimately led Margaretville Hospital, then at risk of closure, to affiliate with the Kingston Regional Healthcare system. He also successfully led the effort to re-open The Hospital in Sidney, which had closed. That hospital re-opened in 2008 as Tri-Town Regional Hospital.
Bonacic also stopped by a business incubator under construction in Margaretville to urge Senate Democrats, who are running the State Senate, to release over $1.2 million they are holding hostage for projects in Delaware County. “Just last week, it was announced that 75% of new Federal education aid dollars are being sent to New York City, when that area represents only 37% of the public school children in the State. At the same time, Senate Democrats have been holding back money relating to flood control and funding to create a small business incubator in Delaware County. I urge them to release these funds and show they care about the entire State, not just their New York City power base,” Bonacic said.
The eCenter project in Margaretville is scheduled to be funded with $250,000 from the Catskill Watershed Corporation, $250,000 through the State Senate, $77,460 from the Appalachian Regional Commission, and up to $99,000 from the USDA.
In June, Senate Democrats had promised to release the $250,000 of funding the Senate previously approved. However, Senate Democrats have thus far refused to honor that commitment – even though the funding was included in budget legislation adopted before the current economic crisis.