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News Release    

May 17, 2006      

For Further Information Contact:
William R. Steinhaus, County Executive
(845) 486-2000

Executive Asks County Legislators to Help Promote Open Space

Poughkeepsie... Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus has written each County Legislator, restating his promise to preserve open space, and asking each of them to partner with him to help increase funding commitments from localities.

In his May 15, 2006, letter, Steinhaus said, “I renew my challenge to local communities to make open space preservation with dedicated funding a top priority, thus enabling your community to come to the County when worthy opportunities are present.  With the growth pressures on our community, the need to preserve critical open spaces has never been greater, so I feel that our Partnership for Manageable Growth must be part of our legacy to future generations.”

As examples of local involvement, County Executive Steinhaus cited Red Hook and Beekman; both have passed bond resolutions for open space protection and farmland preservation.  He noted a number of towns such as Wappinger, Rhinebeck, Union Vale, and Dover that have made specific appropriations for individual properties in cooperation with Dutchess County.  Pawling made a substantial purchase of the former YMCA property.  The letter included a copy of a recent news article highlighting the commitment of the Town of Warwick in Orange County to their open space vision.  Warwick, like Red Hook and Beekman in Dutchess County, will earmark millions of local tax dollars in order to sustain a high quality of life in the town. 

Each Legislator was asked by the County Executive to advocate for local open space and farmland preservation funding in the localities in the legislative district he or she serves in order to preserve the County’s rural qualities. The County Executive said, “…the success of the County partnership program really depends upon bottom-up initiative in order to be fully successful,” and he asked that the legislators work with him and his staff to promote local participation in the Partnership for Manageable Growth.

Since the establishment of the Matching Grant Program the Dutchess County Planning Board has recommended approximately $4.5 million for open space and farmland proposals that would protect 2,216 acres.  The Board anticipates an increase in applications as communities commit to local participation.  The County Executive has committed $7 million to the program to date, with the goal of protecting at least 10,000 acres of resources over the coming decade.



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Last Updated: 5/17/2006