News Release


For More Information:

William R. Steinhaus
Dutchess County Executive
(845) 486-2000

For Immediate Release

August 6, 1999

Steinhaus Unveils Enhancements For Hyde Park

Poughkeepsie, NY - County Executive William R. Steinhaus, joined by other local elected officials and community members, today disclosed the details for the new "Crossroads" project in the business hamlet of Hyde Park. The project includes curbs, sidewalks and streetscape plantings designed to enhance the historic crossroads center of the Town of Hyde Park. The major reconstruction effort is made possible by the joint cooperation since mid 1998 between the County, the State and the Town of Hyde Park.

"This exciting undertaking snowballed from a town project to redevelop the historic town center of Hyde Park to a very elaborate endeavor in which the County and State also got involved. It is a great example of how effectively all three levels of government can merge their efforts for a common good and a common vision," said County Executive Steinhaus. "The County is very happy to assist in creating a town center which helps celebrate the historical significance of Hyde Park. We are also pleased to be working side by side with Hyde Park officials and officials from the New York State Department of Transportation."

"The Town of Hyde Park is very excited about this project. It should revitalize an area which historically was the hub of the Town," commented Hyde Park Town Supervisor Thomas M. Spence. "The Town is particularly appreciative of the efforts of Dutchess County and the New York State Department of Transportation and all they have done to make this possible. The project is beyond the legal and financial bounds of the Town; without the aid of the County and State it would not happen."

The Crossroad section of Hyde Park refers to the intersection of Market Street and Route 9. A Crossroads Committee, of which the County's Department of Planning and Development  and the Department of Public Works have been active participants, was established to plan and coordinate the project. "The goal has been to work cooperatively and collaboratively to develop a plan of improvements for the Crossroads area that will be visually pleasing, supply infrastructure needed to stimulate economic development and set a standard for future projects in Hyde Park," Steinhaus said.

The County Executive noted, "We have agreed to repave and add curbs to the section of Market Street extending from Route 9 to Park Place and also place two recessed areas for on-street parking in the commercial area. The State has agreed to fund new curbs and sidewalks on both sides of Route 9, from Market Street almost to the main gate of the Vanderbilt Mansion Historic Site. The sidewalk will include brick pavers for the last 100 feet on the west side on Route 9 to complement the West Market Street commercial streetscape."

"The County will supervise a joint contract for both the State and County portions of the construction under a unique agreement with the State," Steinhaus noted. "The State agreed to their portion of the project, but would have been unable to begin construction for two or more years and I really wanted Hyde Park to enjoy the success of this project now. I have made an offer for the county to pay the State's share of the project up front and oversee the State's portion of the construction. The State will then reimburse the County."

Prior to construction, the County must enter into the Reverse Betterment Agreement with the State and provide the necessary funding "We are placing a resolution on September's County legislative agenda in order to finalize the agreement between the County and the State and prepare the necessary financial package," Steinhaus stated. "This resolution is the main hurdle left to jump before we can begin with renovations that will go well beyond ordinary improvements. These renovations will enhance the quality of life of the entire community. I am grateful to Hyde Park Legislators Sheedy and Reilly for agreeing to shepard the resolution through the legislature."

Plans the crossroads committee have developed also call for brick paver sidewalks between the curb and property lines with tree wells and the installation of bases for future historic light fixtures in the commercial area. Aside from the historic light fixtures, the Town in future phases will add landscaping, street furniture and signage to revitalize and beautify the area. The County Executive said, "In phase one the Town of Hyde Park will contribute $10,000 in town funds, $48,000 in Community Development Block Grants which they received from the County, and $5,000 in Urban Forestry grants for street trees. The NYS DOT has agreed to invest upwards of $200,000 into the crossroads area and the County has agreed to invest $90,000."

"As Chairman of the Crossroads Committee, I would like to thank Mr. Steinhaus for his enthusiastic support of our crossroads plans. This project is an outstanding example of what can be accomplished when leaders of our County, State and Town governments work together to improve the quality of life in a community in a truly non-partisan way," added John Golden, Crossroads Committee Chairman.

The Crossroads Committee has been actively planning this project for over 18 months. The committee, comprised of property owners, business owners and volunteers, has been working with the County, the State, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Scenic Hudson, Greenway and the Northern Dutchess Alliance. "I want to note the contribution of the two key departments that have spearheaded our county role on my behalf -- Commissioner Roger Akeley of Planning and Development and Commissioner Paul Cassillo of   Public Works and their staffs. I must also take a moment to praise all the individuals who have so successfully forged these effective public/private partnerships," Steinhaus said. "It is partnerships like these that have allowed Dutchess County to achieve the level of progress we have enjoyed to date, and as witnessed here, the progress we will enjoy in the future."

The County Executive cited the Crossroads project in his 1999 State of the County address as a cooperative effort which enhances the "pedestrian friendliness of the area and thus its economic development potential."


County Executive Press Releases