Hein: “… lofty goals for
STONE RIDGE – Local dignitaries packed a room at SUNY Ulster
Thursday evening to hear Ulster Counthy Executive Michael Hein’s 2015
State of the County address. He brought a message of good news, optimism
“Ulster County has become home to one of the largest county government turnaround in generations,” Hein said. “When you set aside all the rhetoric and politics, here are the facts – property taxes have gone down, spending is down, unemployment is down, job growth is up. We’ve moved from a government on the brink of bankruptcy, to the number one most fiscally stable county in our region, according to the New York State Comptroller’s Office.”
Over the next year, the county will begin purchasing new hybrid vehicles and to make use of the electric charging stations which will be provided at locations around the county. Hein announced that Ulster County has achieved 100 percent carbon neutrality. All electric usage is 100 percent renewable as well, and four megawatts of solar arrays are planned.
Other innovations Hein proposed for the upcoming year include the demolition of the old county jail on Golden Hill, to make way for a new business development resource center.
As part of Hein’s $10 million infrastructure overhaul, a portable bridge will be deployed to mitigate detours whenever a county bridge is replaced or repaired. The Route 299 Wallkill River bridge crossing in New Paltz is planned for replacement next year.
Ellenville will be receiving $1 million to help their local economy, following the Nevele resort’s failure to obtain a casino gaming license. The money comes from the state, set aside to offset impacts from neighboring counties. Allocations suggested by a local task force will be submitted for legislative approval.
“We have lofty goals for the county, and much work to do,” Hein noted. “Citizens shouldn’t have to choose between a government that’s fiscally responsible, with one that’s socially responsible.”