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Your Dutchess County Legislators

Robert Rolison, Chairman

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Representing the people in Fishkill and City of Beacon

  •   Assistant Minority Leader
  •   Ex Officio Member of all Legislative Committees

Member of:

  • Veterans Affairs Committee
  • Board of Elections Oversight Committee

Contact Information:

  • Phone:  (H) (845) 831-5202
  • Home Fax:   (845) 838-2219  
  • Cell:  (845) 453-1107
  • E-Mail:

Legislative Highlights

Good Government
√Partnering with municipal leaders on cost control, public transportation, and affordable housing.
√ Supported moving Resource Recovery Agency funding into the contingency account  to provide better management.
√ Voted against extending the Resource Recovery Agency Contract from 2014 to 2027 to save you, the taxpayer $8 Million.
√ Passed 2009 Budget with a 2.6% Tax Rate Increase; it was vetoed and the County Executives budget  passed with a 10.8% Tax Increase.
√ Voted against salary increases for Management in the 2009 Budget but that was vetoed by the County Executive.
√ Supported Legislation to have county elected officials pay 15% of their health insurance premiums.
√ Fought against charging the towns for sheriff road patrol and election cost back to the towns .
√Safeguarding historical national landmarks; and preserving open spaces and fresh water resources.
√ Sponsored a resolution to enable the acquisition and protection of nationally significant battlefields and associated sites of the Revolutionary War and War of 1812 under the American Battlefield Protection Program.
√ Sponsored a resolution requesting the County Executive to appoint a County Historian.
√ Endorsed Preserve American Act Designation
√ Co-sponsored the Community Preservation Act
√ Supported maintaining low tuition for Dutchess Community College.
√ Supported the Dutchess Community College professor’s contract saving the college money on health insurance.
√ No increase of the county share of funding of the College
√Supports Creating jobs by making Dutchess County more attractive to businesses and entrepreneurs.
√Approves Dutchess County Workforce Investment Board grants that provides workforce preparation programs for individuals .
√Backed the Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation by supporting a $350,000 grant.  
Need some assistance, have a question or concern?
Please contact me: 
Home Phone: (845)831-5202
Fax: (845)838-2219
National Homeless Veteran Call Center
 877-4AID VET (877-424-3838)
The National Homeless Veteran Call Center (NHVCC) provides improved access for homeless veterans to VA services and programs and other community resources.

How does the process work?

Initial call
877-4AID VET (or 877-424-3838) will connect callers with a trained VA staff member 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The staff member will conduct a brief screen of each homeless Veteran to determine the severity of the need. With each caller, the NHVCC responder will obtain information about the caller’s current living situation, family, employment, source of income, legal issues, previous/current use of VA and community services, primary reason for the call and how they can be reached for follow-up.

If a caller is experiencing a life-threatening emergency, the NHVCC staff will follow an emergency protocol to ensure the caller receives the appropriate assistance immediately.  The caller will be connected with a homelessness specialist at the nearest VA facility.

Within 24 hours of the call, NHVCC staff will follow up to determine if the veteran is
being assisted by the VA facility.
Within 5 days of the call, NHVCC staff will ensure that a plan is in place for the veteran and actions are being taken.
Within 14 days of the call, NHVCC staff will determine whether the veteran’s needs have been met.

Can non-veterans call the center?
Yes. Non- veteran callers will be directed by the NCCHV staff to non-VA community resources. Callers seeking information about VA Homeless programs or services will be referred to the VA Homeless website and facility Homeless Point of Contact.

Dutchess County United Way 2-1-1 SERVICE
If you or someone you know needs any kind of help, food, shelter, utility or financial assistance, substance abuse counseling, has employment, adult daycare or disability issues, requires medical, legal or protective services free confidential help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Just dial 2-1-1. 
2-1-1 es una linea de servicio telefónico de información y referencia gratuita.
If you have trouble accessing 2-1-1 call 800-899-1427 and TTY is available for the hearing impaired. The region is also part of the nation and state wide service so if a loved one is in another geographic location you will be able to help them. Translation services are available over 150 languages. This service will assist you to  get information about community services, referrals and assistance.
Office for the Aging
Toll Free: (866) 486-2555
DUTCHESS NY Connects:  (845) 486-2555
Beacon Office: (845) 838-4870
Adult daycare or disability issues, requires medical, legal or protective services free confidential help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Office for the Aging
Toll Free: (866) 486-2555
DUTCHESS NY Connects:  (845) 486-2555
Beacon Office: (845) 838-4870
Child Abuse Hotline
Toll Free: 1-800-342-3720
Child Abuse Hotline for Mandated Sources
Toll Free: 1-800-635-1522
Child Abuse Hotline for Out-of-State Calls
(518) 474-8740
Crime Victims Assistance Program /
Elder Abuse Services
(845) 452-1110 - 24-hr Hotline
Domestic Abuse
 Battered Women's Services
   (845) 485-5550 - 24-hr Hotline
 Grace Smith House
   (845) 471-3033 - 24-hr Hotline
 House of Faith/House of Hope
   (845) 765-0294 24-hr Hotline
Mental Hygiene
Helpline for crisis intervention, telephone counseling, information & referral – 24 hours/day 7 days/week: (845) 485-9700
Toll Free: (877) 485-9700
Public Defender
Toll Free: 1-800-660-8818  (For outside 845 Area Code Only)
Rape Crisis
(845) 452-7272 - 24-hr Hotline
Sheriff's Victim Hotline
Toll Free: 1-800-846-3469
Heat Complaints:
(845) 486-3404 - 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, M-F
(845) 431-6465 - after hours

Veterans Affairs

DUTCHESS COUNTY OFFICE FOR THE AGING FRIENDSHIP CENTERS serve a hot, nutritious meal and offer informational, educational and recreational programs.  The sites operate Monday through Thursday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at 9 locations as follows:
Beacon 845-838-4871 Forrestal Heights Senior Housing
East Fishkill 845-226-3605 East Fishkill Community Center
Fishkill 845-896-4914 First Reformed Church
October 13, 2010 Meeting
At the October 13 County Legislative Board the invocation was given by Pastor Howard Lawler of the First Baptist Church in Fishkill. Leah Feldman, Chair of the Citizens’ Advisory Committee on Domestic Violence presented a report that was requested as the result of 2 murders that recently took place. Based on the report three priorities of urgency were stated: restore lost services, including those cut as part of the 2010 budget; consider the feasibility of GPS monitoring of convicted abusers that can alert police and the victim and utilize ‘lethality assessment instruments’, to make sure that resources are directed at the proper cases. If you are a victim of Domestic Violence or know someone please call the Battered Women's Hotline number at (845) 485-5550.
Two resolutions were passed allowing a portion of the Dutchess Rail Trail in East Fishkill to be constructed on State Department of Transportation property located on the South side on Route 82 opposite the cul-de-sac at Martin Road as well as an agreement with the MTA was to build another parking lot and access road near the Hopewell Junction trail head. Also passed was authorization allowing the County to enter into an Inter-municipal agreement to rent town owned snow and ice control equipment during the 2010-2011 winter. In addition to Fishkill the towns of Clinton, Dover, Milan, Northeast, Pawling, Rhinebeck, Stanford and Unionvale will be participating.
After a five year review the County Fire, Rescue and EMS Mutual Aid Plan was approved. A copy of the plan is on file at the Legislative office or you may contact me. Fishkill resident Thomas Adams joins six other citizens on the Veterans Affairs Committee. 
In a 15 to 10 vote the County has been authorized to enter into a ground lease with the Dutchess Community College Association so a dormitory can built for approximately 450 students. The term of the lease is for 49 years at rental charge of $1.00 a year.   Please note there will be public hearing addressing County Executive’s 2011 Budget on November 3 at Dutchess Community College.  All are welcome. The next board meeting is on Thursday, November 4 at 7:00 p.m., 6th floor, 22 Market Street. My grateful thanks and appreciation go out to all our Veterans.
September 13, 2010 Meeting
 At the September 13 County Legislative Board meeting $404,303 in funding was approved to be accepted from the Workforce Investment Act and Trade Adjustment Assistance. This is a federal program that assists individuals with job preparedness and businesses as well. A lease agreement between the County and the Beacon School District for the Intermodal Facility located near Dutchess Stadium was approved. The base rent during the fifteen year option term would increase in five year increments: $5,800 for years 16 through 20; 6,400.00 for years 21 through 25 and $7,000.00 for years 26 through 30. A resolution was passed permitting the sale of 123 parcels of land at public auction to be held at the Poughkeepsie Mercury Grand Hotel tentatively scheduled for October 6.  This action can be taken according to Article 11 of the Real Property Tax Law. Four projects were approved to move forward under the auspices the Federal-Aid And State Marchiselli” Program-Aid Eligible Costs of the Transportation Federal- Aid Project which appropriates funds and authorizes the implementation and funding in the first instance 100% as follows: $940,000 to cover the cost of participation for Coleman  Station Road over Webatuck in  the Town of North East; $1,810,000  for the construction and construction inspection phase of the replacement of Dover Furnace Road over Harlem Valley Railroad, Town of Dover as well as  $82,000 for the cost of participation in the above phases of the Project for the Replacement of Dover Furnace Road over Harlem Valley Railroad. Also $280,000 was approved for the Bridge Reconstruction for project (DeGarmo Road) over Wappinger Creek, in the Towns of LaGrange and Poughkeepsie. A Resolution was passed approving the issuance of $3,456,600 Serial Bonds to replace the existing and outmoded sliding gate controls, electronic security and communications system at the county jail. In addition $700,000 was approved to be moved from the county’s general contingency budget to the Sheriff’s budget to cover expenses related to housing inmates in other institutions. The District Attorney’s Asset Forfeiture account will receive $33,201. These monies were “seized and forfeited” in criminal activity and can be used for equipment. $20,000 will be used for a 2010 Chevrolet Impala, $11,101 will be used for office supplies and $2,100 will be used for a maintenance contract for the department’s server. The Legislature voted to request the County Attorney and the County Executive to investigate with Nassau County and other counties the lawsuit to change the formula for the MTA Payroll Tax. The MTA Board has 16 members and currently Dutchess, Orange, Putman and Rockland are represented by one vote. Therefore Dutchess County has only ¼ of a vote on the Board.  The Board meeting was adjourned in memory of William L. Schreiber, Francis J. Murray and Town of Fishkill resident H. Todd Brinckerhoff, Jr. 
August 9, 2010 Meeting
At the August 9 Legislative Board Meeting the 90th Anniversary of the American Legion Auxiliary was noted with a Proclamation. The American Legion Auxiliary is the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization serving Veterans, their families and communities with nearly 10,500 units in the United States.  Our community is served by 10 units throughout Dutchess County. A resolution was passed for the county to renew its lease with Five States Communications Inc.  Five States will supply the communications system for the county which is situated on Clove Mountain in Unionvale. There will be no charge for the lease until 2025.The Towns of Poughkeepsie and Wappinger Falls have renewed their municipal agreements to look after the portion of the Rail Trail that runs through their respective towns. The cost cannot exceed $7,500 for the towns. Some of the services to be provided includes maintaining a  Police presence, providing minor repairs, inspection of the trails, mowing, garbage removal, graffiti, surface maintenance during winter months and animal control. The Finance Department was authorized to institute two Community Development accounts. One account will be for $1,119,305 of federal funds that will provide assistance for the construction of affordable housing for low and moderate income residents in participating jurisdictions. A second account will be for federal funds amounting to $575,488 for the Shelter Plus Care program. This program promotes housing and support services for individuals who are homeless. In addition Finance will establish a Capital Project account to accept $2,593,000 from the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) for the county’s highway improvement program. Also passed was a resolution outlining a formula to charge the towns and cities for elections. It was passed by a 14 to 10 vote. The Legislature authorized the County Executive to move forward in making the county a member of a discount dental program. Once agreements are signed this program  will be open to all residents of Dutchess County. Don’t forget the Dutchess County Fair at Rhinebeck opens August 24 and runs until August 29. We have largest 6 day county fair in the state!  Come and see the farm animals, meet our County’s 4-H Members, catch a glimpse of the Flower show and walk through museums.
July 12, 2010 Meeting
At the July 12 Legislative Board Meeting a Proclamation noting Dutchess Watershed Awareness month was given to Carolyn Klocker of Cornell University Cooperative Extension.  During this month watch for events around the county. This will include a workshop on July 27, 7:00 to 9:00 pm at the East Fishkill Town Hall. The topic will be Using GIS for Local Municipal Watershed Planning. The evening will be hosted by Town Supervisor John Hickman, Ms. Klocker of CCEDC, Legislator Marge Horton and I. Call 845-677-8223 for the schedule of all Watershed events. The events are family oriented, fun and free! The Legislature approved the grant application to the Federal Transit Administration for $550,000 to pay for replacing the roof at the Transit Facility. The 2010 budget was amended to accept $245,000 from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Port Security Grant Program. These monies will be used to buy a patrol boat for the Sheriff’s Department. A resolution was passed to process $1,592,578 through the Community Development Block Grant Program. Local municipalties that benefitted are: Town of Wappinger- $100,000 for baseball field handicapped improvements; City of Beacon- $191,109 for Tioranda Bridge and $22,000 for the Martin Luther King Cultural Center. State aid was received by the Department of Mental Hygiene as a result of St. Francis Hospital closing the Adolescent Psychiatric Unit. In total $315,628 was allocated however the funding obligation commences July 1. $157,814 will be moved to the 2011 budget. $24, 772 will go to 2010 personnel costs and $133,042 will go to the contract agencies PEOPLe and Astor Home. $99,609 of insurance money was accepted to pay for damage done to the Court House from a fire that took place in November 2009.
June 14, 2010 Meeting
During the June 14 Legislative Meeting a resolution was passed allowing the county to participate in the New York State’s Electronic Value Transfer Program. This will allow residents to make payments to the county using a credit card, debit card and automated clearing house (ACH) banking transactions. A study was first done using this method for civil service examination application fees and park reservations. The state’s Electronic Value Transfer Program has a contract with Global Payments, Inc. and Discover Financial Services, Inc. as the merchant service providers for automated electronic transactions.  Also passed were two bonds. One bond is permitting the Department of Public Works to purchase 7 replacement vehicles.  The cost of the various trucks will be $1,198,000 and the cost of the bonding is $11,980 totaling $1,209,980.  The second bond in the amount of $2,420,210 will provide monies to replace the a roof on the Sheriffs Building, the Loop Bus Garage and fire alarm systems in county buildings and park structures. The systems have been deemed outdated and potentially unsafe. A Citizens Advisory Committee on Small Businesses has been established. Serving from the Southern Dutchess area are Diane Averill, Hopewell Junction; Ori Brachfeld, Beacon and Kathlenn Petretta, Wappingers Falls. Effective June 28 a new Loop Bus schedule will be in effect.  To see a taped presentation viacomputer go to and see the video.  I have been informed that Forrestal Heights will be added as a stop because it is on the B and F  routes.  If you need transportation and have a disability or are a mature citizen or just have a question, call the Transit Department at 473-0171. Children of parents serving in the Military are welcome to participate in Operation: Military Kids-New York Summer Camps 2010. Registration Forms are available at: or call 315-788-8450.
May 10, 2010 Meeting
At the May 10 County Board meeting Reverend David Nolan, Pastor from Beacon’s St. Joachim’s ~St. John the Evangelist Church, gave the invocation. Beacon High School Senior Ryan Tompkins received a commendation for his outstanding achievements in sports as well as his appointment to West Point Military Academy. Ryan was acknowledged with a standing ovation from the Board of Legislators. There will be a Public Hearing at the June 14 Board Meeting regarding the Young-Morse Historic Site in Poughkeepsie. The county is considering grants of$150,000 from the Town of Poughkeepsie and $350,000 from New York State through the Environmental Protection Act and the New York State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to obtain additional properties. Collectively the land will be dedicated to passive open park space. Under the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act the county will receive a $1,347,313 grant for services the will help individuals that are infected with or affected by the virus. Also $5,000 was accepted from the New York State Office of Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Services to replace carpeting in the community room at the Intensive Treatment Alternatives Program site in Poughkeepsie. The Mortgage Tax receipts and disbursements for the period October 1, 2009 through March 31, 2010 will be expended as follows: East Fishkill: $498,599.72,  Fishkill $245,675.42 and the City of  Beacon $172,556.55.  There will be one more Mortgage Tax disbursement unless Home Rule legislation is passed. If not, the last payout for the towns and cities will be in December.  A resolution was passed appointing Jennifer S. Kurtz of Wappinger Falls and Michael Rizzo of Hopewell Junction to the County Youth Board.
April 12 Meeting
At the April 12 County Board meeting East Fishkill resident Steven Velardo, Jr., received a commendation honoring him as a participant and New York State third place finalist in the American Legion State Oratorical Competition. This annual competition is an opportunity for high school students to participate at their local American Legion post and possibly advance to county, state then national contests. Winners can receive substantial scholarship monies. For more information contact your local American Legion Post or me.  Several resolutions were passed affecting East Fishkill in conjunction with the Rail Trail. Three of the resolutions were permanent easements to Deer Run Holding, LLC for the construction of a grade separating crossing over the Rail Trail, construction and maintenance of a potable water line connection and a storm water culvert. Also an inter-municipal agreement with East Fishkill was authorized for maintenance and repair of grade over the Rail Trail. The county has accepted additional property for a Right-of Way on county road 29 and Carpenter Road in East Fishkill. The legislature accepted a $2,328,800 federal grant from Department of Energy as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  It will be used for building assessments and projects to save energy. The Legislators passed a resolution asking the State to require the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to use the monies made available from the federal Stimulus Act to abolish the mandated employer Mobility Payroll Tax.  The 2010 Budget was amended to pay two 2009 invoices. One was in the amount of $555 and the other was $710. The first expense was incurred by the Office of Probation & Community Corrections for travel expenses related to required training and second was for Legislative meetings that were web-cast last October. The Dutchess County Workforce Investment Board received $374,636 from the Trade Assistance Act for training unemployed individuals. Also a Proclamation was issued acknowledging the 40th Anniversary Earth Day Celebration. It will be held at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds and be the  the Official Earth Day Event of Dutchess County.
March 8 Meeting
At the March 8 County Board meeting the Budget was amended to accept a $2,500 grant that will be used to buy two foldable Medivac floatation litters. These devices will be used for lifting and transporting victims during medical emergencies on the Hudson River and Whaley Lake. The Sheriffs Department requested the budget be amended to reflect appropriations and revenues ($85,000) that will be generated from the new LiveScan fingerprinting system. The amount was not included in the Sheriff’s budget at the time of submission.  Distribution of surplus dog license fees will be paid out to the towns and cities. The Town of East Fishkill will receive $1,351.07, Fishkill: $1,250.94 and the City of Beacon: $258.64 respectively. The Legislature approved authorization for the County Executive to submit a grant application along with Rockland, Orange, Putnam and Ulster counties as co-applicants for funding up to $200,000 as part of Local Government Cooperative Purchasing Project. The county’s projected share would be $4,000.  It is planned to purchase software for the Central Services department. Also passed was a resolution to establish a mileage policy for legislators.  In addition, Legislators were appointed or reappointed to various committees and boards. Locally, Legislators Joseph Incoronato and Daniel Kuffner will be joining me on the Veterans Affairs Committee. Legislator Rob Weiss was appointed to the District 3 Fish and Wildlife Management Board and the E-911 Maintenance Board.  I will be joining Legislator Miccio on the Dutchess County Soil and Water Conservation Board. The Lexington Center for Recovery, Inc., which provides  assistance to individuals who have a chemical dependency, has donated two 2008 Subaru Impreza Vehicles. The cars will be used by the Departments of Social Services and Mental Hygiene. Kealy Salomon’s appointment as Commissioner of Planning and Development was confirmed. She will replace Roger Akeley, who retired after 26 years of service to the county. In addition, former Beacon native James M. Fedorchak was confirmed at County Attorney. 
February 11 Meeting
At the February 11 Legislative Board meeting a commendation acknowledging the Centennial Anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America was granted. The outstanding history of Boy Scouting started February 8, 1910, when Mr. William D. Boyce filed incorporation papers for the Boy Scouts of America in the District of Columbia. The 2010 Budget has been amended to uphold a grant agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration for improvements at the Dutchess County Airport.  The FAA will contribute $973,750 or 95%, New York State will provide $25, 625 or 2.5%, and County will put in 2.5% as well. The $25,625 will be drawn from the contingency portion of the budget. These monies will be used for rehabilitation maintenance of a taxiway, new LED lighting, an obstruction study of the flight approaches as well as replacing the aircraft rescue fire fighting vehicle. A resolution was also passed accepting $89,000 from the Home Investment Partnership Program. After the Finance Department amends the Community Development Account the County can provide loans to qualified individuals, who are have low to moderate income for the rehabilitation of affordable housing.  The Legislature also approved authorization for the County to apply for a State grant to study cost savings from sharing services with municipalities. The grant is called the Local Government Efficiency Grant Program. The Dutchess County Supervisors and Mayors Association have been notified of the intent. The DCSMA’s leadership is looking for full support of this endeavor from the towns and 2 cities.   The County pays 50% of the required 10% cash match with the local municipalities sharing equally with other participating municipalities in the amount of 50% percent of the required 10% percent cash match for the project.  Also votes were cast supporting a 10-year agreement between the County and City of Poughkeepsie to be a back up for each other as part of the Emergency 911 System.  Also approved was the re-appointment of Beacon Police Lt. Daniel Dowd to the Traffic Safety Board. 
January 25 Meeting
At the January 25 Legislative Board Meeting dates for calendar year 2010 meetings was approved. Legislators also authorized the Commissioner of Finance to process funds from two grants totaling $12,000 that the County’s Sheriff Department applied for and was awarded. Those monies will be used to purchase an electronic board with radar. Also accepted were funds secured in the amount of $39,944 from the Workforce Investment Act and the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program to assist businesses and the unemployed. A resolution was passed approving the planned activities and funding for 2010 STOP-DWI Program. This is a requirement for state funding. Also the Commissioner of Finance was granted authorization to refund real property taxes without legislative approval in the amount of $2,500 or less. The exemption from sales tax was also repealed.  This will generate a funding stream to the cities and towns. $60,000 was released from the county’s Liability and Casualty Reserve to settle a court case. A resolution was passed requiring Legislators to contribute to their health insurance premiums. Although the title of the resolution included the word “volunteer contributions”, Legislative Attorney Scott Volkman indicated that everyone would have to participate therefore volunteering to pay was not an option. This raised considerable questions and debate because there is a law in place stating you can only make changes to elected officials salary during certain time periods. The County Executive office has stated benefits are part of salary and since those time periods have passed the question stands about the legality of the health insurance resolution. All legislators have are in agreement to pay but want to do so in a legal fashion, in context with a law that are already on the books. A Proclamation put forth in the solemn remembrance of the 55th anniversary of the January 29 fire in the City of Beacon that took the life Volunteer Firefighter J. Robert Cramer. The next meeting will be held in February 10, at 7:00 p.m., 6th floor, 22 Market Street, Poughkeepsie.
December 2009 Meetings
The Legislative Board gathered three times this month. During the regularly scheduled December 7 meeting adjustments were made to the existing 2009 budget. A resolution was passed to remove $1,583,748 from the Appropriated Fund Balance to replenish the General Contingency Account.   The following amounts were then drawn form the General Contingency: $405,000 to pay for housing out inmates in other counties; $281,726 for attorneys fees that serve Family Court for conflict cases and expert witnesses; $445,500 for Preschool Special Education programs that experienced tuition increases as well as  for state mandated foster care costs and $805,862 in federal funding for a workforce preparation and employment system for youths and adults. Also passed was a resolution to pay $50,000 for damages that were incurred to a water main in Rhinebeck. In addition a request was made to the State Legislature and Governor Paterson to immediately find an alternative funding source for the MTA  so county residents who do not use the service are not responsible for financing it and insist that Connecticut residents contribute. The county’s in-house Loans Community Development Account appropriated $25,000 for Section 108 Loans to qualified business owners for creation or expansion of their businesses. This falls under the  auspices of  the Community Development Block Grant Program.  Edward J. Mills, III was reappointed and Shabazz Jackson was appointed to the Resource Recovery Agency.  Their terms expire on December 31, 2011. Following a 24 hour adjournment the meeting continued on December 8 and the 2010 County Budget was passed with vote of 21-4.  On December 17 the Legislature met again and voted against the majority of the County Executives vetoes. The next meeting will be held in January, 6th floor, 22 Market Street, the date and time to be determined. If you have any questions or concerns please contact me at 831-5202 or by email: I wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and a Blessed 2010!
November 9, 2009 Meeting
At the November 9 Board meeting commendations for the Tercentennial of the Madam Brett Homestead in Beacon and the opening of the Walkway over the Hudson were acknowledged.  Grant funds from a variety of sources were approved such as New York State Archives Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund that awarded a $49,700 to be used to scan mortgage and deed documents from 1987 to 1985; from the New York State Department of Health $34,000 was accepted for a prevention program to curtail obesity and chronic ailments that are related. $12, 750 of those monies will be allocated to next year’s budget. New York State’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Primary Prevention Pilot Project grant of $247,135 was accepted.  $185,351 of the $247,135 will be used for the 2010 budget. In the balance of $61,784, $36,724 will be designated to fulfill the programs objectives and the balance of $25,060 will be used for jobs in the current budget. Also from the State’s Department of Health $860,821 was accepted for emergency preparedness programs like training, communication and for the collaboration of medical care facilities. Again some of these monies will be used this some in 2010: $59,705 is for the program objectives, $123,728 will be used in 2009 for existing jobs, and the remaining $677,388 will be in the 2010 budget. The budget was amended to pay $10,818.24 from contingency for legislators’ mileage reimbursements. There was a clerical error that paid $10,818.24 out of 2009 funds for 2008 mileage expenses; also a resolution was passed to approving the Commissioner of Finance to pay to cities, towns and villages the amounts due from apportioned mortgage taxes. On December 4 the Town of East Fishkill will receive $562,682.39, the Town of Fishkill $291,142.62 and the City of Beacon: $133,521.90. Also out of the County’s general fund $449,745 was paid to cover the cost of payroll and benefits for Mass Transit employees through this year. Please note a Public Hearing on the 2010 Budget will be held on December 3 at 7 p.m., at the Bardavon (across the street from the County Building). The next regular board meeting is Monday, December 7 at 7:00 p.m., 6th floor, 22 Market Street. The last Legislative Board meeting of the year is on December 17. May you and your families have a blessed Thanksgiving.
October 13, 2009 Meeting
This month was declared 4-H Month at the October 13 County Legislative Board meeting. The Legislature passed a resolution to extend an inter-municipal agreement for 15 years between the county and the City of Beacon for water and sewage service. The county accepted a $38,169 grant from the New York State Department of Criminal Justice as part of the District Attorney’s Recruitment and Retention Program that provides one-time incentive and retention awards to Assistants in the District Attorney’s office. A resolution permitting the County Executive to sign an agreement to accept grant funds from the state’s transportation department, for transportation services, (Loop Bus) in the amount of $62,500 for 2009, and $66,900 for 2010. This will help support the services needed in the rural and small urban areas. Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) the county will receive $428,038 in Community Development Block Grant Recovery Program funding. The City of Beacon will receive $75,000 for infrastructure improvements. The county received $17,025 from the New York State Office of Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Services State Aid Funding Authorization for a once only start-up funding for a new Permanent Housing program for Mid-Hudson Addiction Recovery Centers (MARC).  MARC is one of the many contract agencies of the county utilizes to provide services.As we approach the month of November we salute all Veterans. Thank you for your service to our country!  The next meeting is Monday, November 9, at 7:00 p.m., 6th floor, 22 Market Street.
September 14, 2009 Meeting
During the September 14 County Legislative Board meeting Federal stimulus funds in the amount of $1,332,462 were received by State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance for a back to school program for low income families and employment training. The monies for school children are available in the form of a $200 grant per child. The Legislature also voted to authorize the creation of an account to accept and disburse $2,785,000 (from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) to purchase 6 buses.   It was noted these buses will be used for replacements and should last twelve years.  The County also received $654,862 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program. The funds are to be used to assist individuals and/or families to prevent homelessness and to assist those currently homeless to secure a residence without delay.  Based on New York Sate Highway law that allows the County Public Work Departments to arrange with towns the rental of snow and ice control equipment, it has been concluded that to supplement resources such rental arrangements will be made with 11 towns, including Fishkill and Wappinger for the 2009-2010 winter season. The current cost to the county is $275,000. A savings of $60,000 is anticipated. However final determination would be based on the type of winter season. A resolution was passed to amend the budget to process a $180,909 grant from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services for the continuation of the Local Reentry Task Force Initiative. This program provides staff and services to assist individuals transitioning from prison back to the community. $60,000 of the grant will be used in the balance of the year the rest will be in the budget for 2010. Also a Proclamation was passed acknowledging the 100th Anniversary NAACP. Please note Veterans Services will resume in the City of Beacon in January. Veterans can contact the Poughkeepsie office at 486-2060 or one of us.  The next meeting is Tuesday, October 13, at 7:00 p.m., 6th floor, 22 Market Street.
August 10, 2009 Meeting
At the August 10 Board meeting a resolution was passed to acquire an additional right of way for the Dutchess Rail Trail. This town of Lagrange property is currently owned by Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp.  The County budget was amended to accept a $149,573 award for continuation of the Immunization Action Plan. This money continues to be used for childhood and adult immunization, the Immunization Information System, and will provide access to up-to-date education, information and training for local health department staff, health care providers and the general public.  A resolution was passed to amend the  budget to accept $962,395 to be distribute for daycare programs. This increases the amount of money the County can spend on daycare at 100% reimbursement. The Dutchess County Workforce Investment Board has received $643,101 to continue to provide workforce preparation programs for individuals. As part of our farmland protection program to secure 2,700 acres of agricultural resources the county will provide matching funds in the amount of $20,000 and in-kind services. This will meet the requirements of a grant in the amount of $50,000 from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Planning Grant Program. A resolution was passed favoring of New York State legislation which calls to ends the unfair double recoveries in tort claims for personal injury, property damage or wrongful death.  Currently under state law public employees hurt on the job are paid twice, both times out of the taxpayers’ pocket, for the same lost future earnings. The Legislative Board meeting was adjourned in memory of the late Rush M. Greenough II, City of Beacon.
July 13, 2009 Meeting
At the July 13 Board meeting the Legislature acknowledged the month of July as Beacon Fire Tower Month in honor of the Centennial Anniversary of Fire Towers in New York State.  A resolution was passed to establish an account to disburse $1,599,750 of Community Development Block Grants.  The City of Beacon will receive $91,970 for infrastructure improvements, $100,000 for GIS Management and the Beacon Community will receive $20,000. Another account will be established for the distribution of $1,165,562 accepted from the Home Investment Partnership Program for the construction of affordable housing for qualified individuals. $195,392 was accepted from the New York State Office of Mental Health for 15 new supported housing beds. In order for the Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation to apply for a $350,000 grant the EDC was selected as the Tourism Promotion Agency for Dutchess County from April 1, 2009, through March 31, 2010. The Legislature is required to approve any appropriations before starting any projects Dutchess Community College Operating Budget in the amount of $57,451,522 for the fiscal year September 1, 2009, through August 31, 2010, was passed. It is anticipated $10,837,898 of funding from the County will be appropriated from fiscal year 2010. Fulltime students will pay $2,900 from $2,875 for tuition per year. This translates to $12.50 more for tuition each semester and part-time students will pay $1.00 more per credit hour. Part-time tuition was $120 per credit hour and will be $121 per credit hour. City of Beacon resident Rachel Faiella was appointed and confirmed to the Dutchess County Youth Board. The term lasts until June 30, 2012. A resolution was passed supporting Senator Charles Schumer’s Bill 1168 that will enable the acquisition and protection of nationally significant battlefields and associated sites of the Revolutionary War and War of 1812 under the American Battlefield Protection Program. This will enable funding assistance for historical preservation sites such as the Fishkill Supply Depot which contains the burial ground of American Revolutionary soldiers.

June 8, 2009 Meeting
At the June 8 County Legislative Board meeting a resolution was passed to authorize the County Executive to participate in the Community Development Program to insure involvement in the Block Grant program. Also approval was voted on for $161,675 to be used from the General Contingency fund to assist Social Services with the increase of services.  The money will be used for overtime, office furniture, equipment, training, travel and to fill the following temporary 8 positions: 3 Social Worker Specialists and 5 Social Welfare Workers Level I. The budget was amended to accept a $12,000 grant from the Westchester County Department of Health for a FIT KIDS of Hudson Valley Healthy Heart Program. Four to six schools around the county participate on a voluntary basis. Additionally, $671,710 in federal grant funds was accepted from the Workforce Investment Act and the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program. This program helps individuals to return to work and assists young adults in joining the work force. A $3,200 grant was received from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services to buy to two mountain bikes for the County Sheriff. The legislature passed a local law banning reading, writing or sending text messages while driving unless a citizen is contacting the police or emergency services. On the environmental front a feasibility study was requested from the Department of Public Works to examine the cost and pay-back for having pilot programs for composting toilets, green roofs, rain gardens and wind turbines.  Public Works is to report back to the Legislature within 5 months.
May 11, 2009
Legislators at the May 11 County Board meeting passed a Proclamation making the month of May Lyme Disease Awareness Month. New York State reports the highest number of cases of Lyme Disease in the U.S. with Dutchess County reporting nearly 25% of the cases. Beacon High School student and city resident Kara Tancredi received a commendation for her outstanding varsity and AAU Basketball record as well as her academic success. Congratulations also to Beacon High School Head Coach Christina Dahl for her contribution to Ms. Tancredi’s athletic achievements.
Resolutions were passed to accept the following grant money: $438,936 was received from the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under the Shelter Plus Care Program. This program helps to promote the development of supportive housing and services to homeless persons. A total of $1,417,369 was accepted from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for medical and support services for individuals with HIV and AIDS.  The county budget will be amended to accept a grant of $165,588 from the New York State Department of Health for the Childhood Lead Poisoning Primary Prevention Pilot Project. This will be used principally in the City of Poughkeepsie area because the majority of reports of lead come from this locale. A vote was passed permitting the county executive to process a grant application for $2.8 million with the Federal Transit Administration for the purchase of 6 transit buses.Serial bonds in the amount of $179,250 were approved to be issued to cover a portion of the costs of various improvements and reconstruction at Dutchess Community College. The Commissioner of Finance has been authorized to pay the following monies due from the apportioned mortgage tax: $87,358.59 to City of Beacon, East Fishkill - $353,178.34 and Town of Fishkill - $223,337.98.  An inter-municipal agreement with the City of Beacon to use city water and sewer lines has been extended for 60 days while further negotiations are being completed. The county budget was amended by $1.2 million to pay for the cost of housing inmates in facilities outside the county. In recent years the state has allowed this practice since the county jail can is only allowed to hold 257 individuals.
April 13, 2009 Meeting
At the April 13 Legislative Board meeting National Autism Awareness Month was declared and a commendation was approved acknowledging the Beacon Ambulance Corps for 50 years of  service to the community. Charles Traver was appointed as Commissioner of Public Works. Legislators Robert Weiss, Peter Wassell and Alison MacAvery were appointed to the Veterans Affairs Committee joining Legislator Robert Sears.  Resolutions were passed authorizing the County Executive to process a grant application with the Federal Transit Administration for $1,729,000 in Stimulus funds to be used to assist in financing eight buses (including 2 hybrid vehicles), 5 electronic fare boxes for the busses and preventive maintenance programs. In addition a grant request was approved to use $265,179 of remaining funds from 2006 to finance planning activities, purchase computers, two service vehicles and up to 16 electronic fare boxes. Serial bonds in the amount of  $2,742,150 was approved for or highway and bridge improvement. A cost offset of $1.7 million will be paid for with federal stimulus program funds. A retaining wall on County Road 36 (Red Schoolhouse Road, Fishkill) will be replaced with those monies. The estimate cost for this project is $175,000. Municipalities will be receiving their share of dog license fees that were collected in 2008. They are as follows: East Fishkill- $1,542.77; Fishkill- $1,159.23 and the City of Beacon- $344.20. Legislators also adopted a resolution requesting the Departments of Planning and Development, Health, Soil and Water Conservation, and Office of Computer Information Systems, work with the Cornell Cooperative Extension's Environmental Program to evaluate the cost and feasibility of an accessible map of groundwater contamination in the county. Legislators voted to requests the New York Public Service Commission reject Central Hudson's proposal for a rate increase.
March 10, 2009 Meeting
At the March 10 County Board meeting the Legislature declared it American Red Cross month. The Dutchess County Red Cross has 284 volunteers and they contributed over 10,000 hours of service last year and sponsored numerous programs. A memorializaton will be sent to state representatives requesting support of the expansion of the Bottle Bill. The bill is being expanded to include bottles that include teas, bottled water and sports drinks.  The budget was amended to authorize the spending of grant funds in the amount of $78,239 from the New York State Office of Homeland Security to purchase two self-contained light tower units, inter-operability radio interface equipment, and pocketsize guides for Incident Command System reference for emergency services leadership. Also at this meeting the labor contract between the Dutchess Community College, the Board of Trustees and Dutchess United Educators was approved. The contract pertains to Adjunct (part-time) Instructors and is for the period September 1, 2008 through August 31, 2011.  The contract for the full-time instructors was approved through a veto override. A resolution was passed for a $358,500 capital project for the college campus infrastructure. State funds will cover approximately 50%, or $179,250, of the cost.  This project is part of the county’s Capital Improvement Program for 2009-13 and was approved by the Dutchess Community College Board of Trustees.  A resolution requesting the Department of Planning and Development and the Resource Recovery Agency to advocate for federal stimulus funds in the form of Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants was passed. The grants will help with a new zero-waste planning approach for resource recovery by being able to participate in material conservation programs that will focus on source reduction and recycling to improve energy efficiency in the county.
February 11, 2009 Meeting
At the February 11 County Board meeting the John Jay High School Girls Soccer Team was commended for winning the New York State Class AA title and Boy Scout Troop 24 of St. Joachim ~ St. John the Evangelist Church, Beacon received acknowledgment for 50 years of sponsorship at the parish. The County Legislature approved the program activities and proposed budget for the Stop DWI 2009 initiative. It will now be forwarded to the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee for approval. Because of the alarming number of reported metal, copper and aluminum thefts in the county a local law was passed requiring scrap metal processors to verify all seller’s identification and document the description of the materials. A resolution was passed approving $1,219,800 in serial bonds for the purchase of an E911 telephone system. This system will prepare the way for 911 future technologies to possibly be able to accept emails and text messages.  Also approved was the issuance of $383,800 serial bonds that will be used for the rebuilding of the County Highway Facility and installing a geothermal system. Action will be taken to properly close the County bale landfill located between Citation Drive and Wappinger Creek near the County Airport. Although in 1977 the site was capped and closed, $3,030,000 of serial bonds will be issued to complete a Land Closure Plan as part of a Consent Order with the New York State Department of Conservation. There will also be a Public Hearing on March 10, 7:00 p.m. to discuss removing trees, brush and other natural obstructions at the County Airport’s Runway 24. The 2009 budget was amended to appropriate $101,000 for the Department of Planning and Development to purchase  updated photos of the 3,000 plus new land parcels and buildings in the county. 2004 was the last time photos or orthoimagery, as it is called, was done. Once completed, the photos will be available for viewing to all residents as well as emergency personnel and local governments.  The Legislature has requested the State to approve extending the Sales Tax Rate as earlier authorized from 3% to 3 3/4% with such additional ¾ to 1% to be used for County purposes as well as the mortgage recording tax rate as previously authorized at twenty-five cents for each $100.00 and each remaining major fraction thereof. Both tax authorizations end November 30, 2010. A resolution passed asking the State to consider allowing the County to increase the hotel room occupancy tax from the current 4% to 6%. That tax is scheduled to end December 31, 2013.
January  26, 2009 Meeting
At the January 26 Board meeting the Legislature voted to adopt the USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) as the Official Warship of Dutchess County. The ship is a member of the Arleigh Burke class of destroyers. It is named in honor of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt.  resolution was passed supporting the Hudson River Valley Greenway Communities Council and Hudson River Valley Greenway Heritage. The State wants to do away with the Greenway and transfer it’s responsibilities to the Department of State.  The Office of Computer Information Systems has reviewed the process of using Electronic Payments for Civil Service Exam Fees and Park Reservations. The Legislature has approved the use of credit and debit cards on the county website for exam and park fees.  A motion was passed to sanction the Airport Improvement grant agreement and amend the 2009 Budget. This will allow the Department of Public Works to complete terminal ramp repairs.   The estimated project will cost $268,000; the Federal Aviation Agency will provide a  grant $254,600,  the State will contribute $6,700 and the County share will be $6,700. Those monies will come from the capital reserve fund. The Legislature initially authorized this project last August. This legislation allows the County Executive’s office to accept the funds. The Legislature requested the Department of Planning and Development to work with the local Chambers of Commerce to study the feasibility of a discount card program that could be used at local stores and restaurants for individuals that ride the LOOP bus. The Planning Department will report back to the Legislature in 60 days.  A resolution was passed opposing the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) fare increases and the Mobility Tax as well as the imposing fare increases without first conducting public hearings. The Mobility Tax would enforce a tax equal to 33 cents per $100 in payroll for business, as well as not for profits and state agencies.

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