Molinaro announces “Dutchess Invests” program

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POUGHKEEPSIE – Dutchess County is slated to receive $57 million in one-time funding through the federal government’s American Rescue Plan over the next two years.

County Executive Marcus Molinaro has released his “Dutchess Invests” plan to spend the money. “We have a singular opportunity to address big challenges and make important investments in our community that will provide real return – in the lives of our residents and in strengthening our economy,” he said.

Molinaro has proposed allocated $13 million for “Learn, Play, Create,” a new grant opportunity for 501c3 youth organizations, including libraries, sports leagues, and arts & create programs to help enhance opportunities for children.

He has allocated $11 million for his “Jobs, Infrastructure and Public Safety” initiative to be used for entrepreneurial and job skill development initiatives including development of a new advanced job skills training center in Fishkill; creation of shovel-ready opportunities at Hudson Valley Regional Airport; a new leisure and hospitality industry skills training program; and a micro-marketing program to help independent, locally owned businesses affected by the pandemic to expand their marketing reach and increase customer traffic and boost sales.

County Parks will receive over $27 million to invest at Quiet Cove Riverfront Park and Wilcox Memorial Park; develop a new Lake Walton Preserve; and improve facilities at Dutchess Stadium.

A  “Community Partnerships” initiative would receive over $9 million to expand agency partnership grant opportunities; fund the county’s ongoing municipal grant program; homeless and housing initiatives to develop a temporary housing center for those struggling with homelessness. And expanding mental health services.

Funds will also be used for county government operations including restoring critical county government that were held vacant.

Republican County Legislature Chairman Gregg Pulver called the plan “a big opportunity” for the county, “a chance to make significant investment that will positively impact people for years to come.”

Democratic County Legislature Minority Leader Rebecca Edward said colleagues in the Democratic caucus “will weigh the merits of these proposals next week, hopefully after receiving more specific plans, estimated costs, and proposed outcomes.  We have not received any information so far beyond the press release issued today. “

She noted that Ulster County has appointed a bipartisan, joint Executive-Legislative task force that is now in its second month of gathering public input and recommendations from local agencies and nonprofits, before presenting a plan within 90 days: