Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus has taken the lead in moving the environmental restoration of the former Perx property in the Village of Red Hook toward its ultimate clean-up and construction of critically needed senior housing. Steinhaus launched the original initiative several years ago with local Red Hook officials.
Mayor David Cohen heralded the news by observing “Mr. Steinhaus’ announcement will allow the Perx property to be cleaned up by the end of the year. We can then move on constructing the senior housing early in 2006.” Sue Crane, Councilwoman from the Town of Red Hook and Town Board Liaison to Red Hook’s Affordable Senior Housing Committee said the news was as welcomed in the town as it was in the village. “We have been working hard since the Spring of 1999 and have benefited from a strong working relationship among County Executive Steinhaus, the Village, the State (Department of Environmental Conservation) and the housing sponsor.
Steinhaus said, “Because senior housing is one of my highest priorities, I have approved the use of $1.26 million of county cash for the up-front costs to pay for the environmental cleanup of the property.”
“Part of the good news, said the County Executive, is by me signing a state assistance contract on Thursday, Dutchess County is eligible to receive up to $1,260,000 in reimbursement from the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, through the Environmental Restoration Program, for building demolition and soil remediation.”
The Executive noted, “Soon after a meeting with the NYDEC in coming weeks, we expect to send out bid requests for the remediation work. Once the land is cleaned up, the County will transfer the property to the Village of Red Hook and the village will simultaneously transfer the Perx property to Kearney Realty Group, the firm who will develop the senior housing.” “Our work over the past few years has been focused on putting a funding package together,” said Steinhaus. “Therefore, partial funding for the actual costs of the housing project is expected to come from the NYS Division of Housing & Community Renewal, Red Hook town and village (through a grant from the county’s Community Development funding), and Dutchess County government” (through allocation of Federal HOME funding).
“I am hopeful the NYS Division of Housing and Community Renewal will recognize the need for attainable senior housing in Northern Dutchess by approving the project funding,” continued Steinhaus, “I look forward to the day when I can visit residents after the apartments are occupied.” A decision on state funding for the housing is expected in late June or early July.
"It is special when Dutchess County can help transform a financial and environmental liability for the taxpayers into an economic and social asset for local communities,” continued County Executive Steinhaus, “not only will the Perx property be back on the tax rolls, but an estimated 48 apartments of much needed housing will be available for senior Red Hook area residents.”
Dutchess County became owner of the property in the 1990’s by a tax default proceeding when the owners failed to pay property taxes.