Dutchess lawmakers approve allocation of ARP funds including for Dutchess Stadium

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POUGHKEEPSIE – Dutchess County legislators Monday night approved the $57 million spending blueprint for its American Rescue Plan funds. Included in the plan is spending $12.5 million to renovate and modernize Dutchess Stadium in Fishkill, which has become a priority as the Hudson Valley Renegades have become a Minor League team for the New York Yankees.

Minority Democrats on the legislature opposed that spending and said more should be directed to fight opioid use and other social ills.

Brennan Kearney said the federal funds are a “once in a lifetime opportunity to reverse public health and economic impacts of the pandemic.”

She was adamantly opposed to spending funds for the stadium.

“Funding the stadium in light of these federal instructions and the great need of the people of Dutchess County is nothing less than a monumental theft, and yes, I am using the term theft, from Dutchess citizens who have been promised by the federal government that the American Rescue funds will deliver swift relief in the form of vaccine access, food security, relief from rising housing costs, and more help for addiction and mental health needs,” she said.

Democratic colleagues failed to push through two amendments to provide funds specifically for communities most directly hit by the pandemic.

Dutchess lawmakers also approved a 25-year lease between the county and the Renegades to use Dutchess Stadium as their home field.