POUGHKEEPSIE – Democrats were not happy
with what they saw as giving too much power with little oversight to the
county executive to negotiate certain contracts related to the Dutchess
County Airport. The law repeals a previous local law and enacts new procedures
that limit the executive’s powers over contracts to terms of 15
years or less.
Democrat Francena Amparo said this is not the way it is done in other area counties.
“I do not support unilateral decision-making as it relates to the airport,” Amparo said. “There are FBOs at Westchester County Airport. All resolutions pertaining to these FBOs, hangar leasing, hangar leasing assignments and more, go before the Westchester legislature and require a public hearing.”
Republican Majority Leader Angela Flesland said this does put restraints on the county executive that were previously not there.
“This is bringing those checks and balances,” Flesland said. “A vote for this is saying that the county executive should be limited to 15 years.”
County Attorney James Fedorchak noted that there are advisory groups that work with both the executive branch and legislature on issues related to the airport.
That resolution passed on a mostly party-line vote of 16 to 5 with Democrats opposed.
County Airport, in the Town of Wappinger, has untapped potential, say some county officials
The legislature favored, with little opposition, declaring the county as lead agency for installation of an almost 2.5 megawatt ground mounted photovoltaic array at the airport.
Public Works Commissioner Noel Knille said this is project that will bring dividends for the county.
“We anticipate over 20 years, approximately $2.9 million in savings,” said Knille.
The public works commissioner said they have done studies on some possible concerns including reflections that could put pilots at risk. They found that is not an issue.
The project is expected to be on line by late next spring or early summer.
If this is successful, Knille said they hope other entities might consider similar installations. Grants are available.