Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus and Dutchess County Legislative Chair Bradford Kendall announce final steps in the appropriation of $750,000, Dutchess County’s contribution to help fund the first building to be constructed at The Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries.
“I am particularly pleased The Beacon Institute is launching this riverside development with the first building being constructed with the help of County funds,” said Steinhaus. “This is a big step forward in realizing the vision of a world class scientific research and education center which will receive national and international exposure, as well as realizing our belief that Dutchess County is the ideal location. Our effort to have the Beacon location win the site selection competition was based on our continuing efforts to diversify our Dutchess economy and infuse millions of dollars in economic impact to Beacon.”
County resources are being used to reconstruct and add to an existing, historically significant building on the 65-acre Denning’s Point site. It will function primarily as an education and information center.
In 2000, County Executive Steinhaus directed the Dutchess County Department of Planning and Development to suggest Beacon as a site for the Rivers and Estuaries Center and develop and write the state application for consideration of the Beacon site. The competition was tough, since Beacon was one of 21 proposed sites up and down the river, and Steinhaus looks forward to the day when it begins fulfilling its mission, involving an estimated $50 million annual budget.
Legislative Chairman Bradford Kendall has been equally enthusiastic and supportive of the project and spearheaded Legislative action to appropriate the $750,000 in County funds. “Our funds are particularly valuable because they were the first money in and encouraged other funding sources to step forward. It is also important to recognize and thank Rob Dyson and the Dyson Foundation for the leadership role they performed in securing the Rivers and Estuaries location in Beacon,” said Kendall.
The County funding, along with grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and New York Power Authority will enable the Beacon Center to complete its first building at the Denning’s Point location on the Hudson River.
According to John Cronin, who directs New York State’s rivers and estuaries program, the Dutchess County involvement is “just the type of partnership Governor Pataki envisioned when he called on diverse interests to make the Hudson River a global center of research, learning and knowledge.”
The current reconstruction is projected to be completed by October, 2006.
At its July meeting, the Dutchess County Legislature will vote to appropriate the $750,000 from its Capital Reserve Account.