Statement by Senator John Bonacic

John J. Bonacic

December 16, 2011

On SAGE Recommendation for Belleayre 

“I am pleased that the SAGE Commission has now formally recognized that the DEC is no place for Belleayre.  This is something we in the Senate have long recognized.  Over a decade ago, the Senate passed legislation to give Belleayre financial independence.  We said then, that when times got tough, the State would pull back aid to Belleayre in favor, logically, of things like roads, bridges, healthcare, and schools.” 

“Now, we have an opportunity to move forward.  I would support Belleayre becoming a part of ORDA, but would want to help ensure:  (a), that there is local representation on the ORDA Board for people of the Catskills area; (b), that the Ulster and Delaware County leadership are satisfied with that representation; (c) that there is a mechanism to ensure that Belleayre does not become a cash cow for ORDA and receives its fair share of operating and capital aid; and (d)  that Belleayre’s management be satisfactory to local tourism leaders.”

“Belleayre is the economic engine of the Route 28 corridor for tourism purposes.   The net effect of Belleayre in terms of tax revenue produced is a clear winner for the State.  We want to keep the benefit of Belleayre in the Catskills and ensure its future, successful growth.”