Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus in letters (see sample enclosed) to Governor Paterson and New York State Senate & Assembly representatives Saland, Leibell, Ball, Cahill, Kirwan, Miller and Molinaro urged them to designate Dutchess County as part of “Upstate New York” for purposes of economic policies, strategies and the upstate economic stimulus package.
“As we continue to work to strengthen our economy, we realize including Dutchess County with the (Empire State Development) ESD-designated Upstate New York would promote our mutual success,” wrote County Executive Steinhaus.
“Upstate New York” is designed to provide increased economic development focus and attention on the regions north and west of Albany County. Many of these areas have faced economic difficulties.
The Hudson Valley region, including Dutchess County, has traditionally been considered part of “Downstate” for economic development purposes. According to Anne Conroy, President and CEO for the Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation (DCEDC), “Right now there is an opportunity for the ESD to assess the Hudson Valley region and reconsider its designations. Certain counties such as Westchester and Rockland have greater commonality with the New York metro region and are appropriate for the Downstate designation. We believe Dutchess County would be better served by the Upstate New York designation.”
Wayne Nussbickel, Chairman of the DCEDC Board of Directors said, “Our technology industry cluster is closely linked to research and developments in Albany and in many other areas such as urban revitalization and tourism. The problems and opportunities we encounter are very similar to upstate.”
“We are proud of the success we have achieved, but we remain aware that our economic development efforts must be ongoing and continuous, always focusing on creating a high quality of life for our community,” said Steinhaus. Importantly, the County Executive noted the 2008-2009 New York State Budget appropriated nearly one billion dollars for economic and job development initiatives. County Executive Steinhaus concluded, “We owe it to the families of Dutchess County to make sure our State officials, through the placement of Dutchess County in the more appropriate “Upstate” designation, ensure resources will be available so we can continue to add quality jobs for local Dutchess residents.”