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News Release    

January 27, 2003  

Steinhaus Visits Amenia Site

Wassaic... County Executive William R. Steinhaus brought a delegation of economic development officials and regional community parties to join Allan Shope on a tour of Listening Rock Farm in Wassaic today, Monday January 27.

According to County Executive Steinhaus, "The accessible utilities, combined with the acreage, available buildings and EDZ tax advantages make this a prime location in the County to attract significant economic development. Last year when I indicated to the Empire Zone Board I wanted to designate this property as an Empire Development Zone, it was based on a vision of significant new business opportunities east of the Taconic Parkway that would stimulate job opportunities in the Harlem Valley corridor. I was impressed when I visited last year and I am even more impressed today. What Mr. Shope has accomplished so far suggests that the future of this Amenia site as well as that of the Harlem Valley Psychiatric Center in Dover are in a good position to spur economic development."

Shope purchased this farm, located on the former Wassaic Developmental Center, in 2000. Since then, he has begun an ambitious plan to develop the site as a business enterprise, which focuses on sustainable energy and farm-related businesses. Shope's vision also includes hands-on environmental education experience for children. While new businesses have already been created on this site since the sale to Allan Shope from the State of New York, a principal goal in the future includes significant redevelopment of the 450 acres.

Steinhaus had the following on the County Executive’s tour: Tom Sipos, former President of the Economic Development Board and member of the Workforce Investment Board; Richard Altman, Executive Director, WIB; Karen Woods, Executive Director Dutchess County Tourism Promotion; Linda Keech, Executive Director Dutchess County Cornell Cooperative Extension; D. David Conklin, President Dutchess Community College and Economic Development Zone; Anne Conroy, EDC and EDZ; Ron Coan, President and CEO Economic Development Board and Roger Akeley, Commissioner of Planning & Development for Dutchess County.

County Executive Steinhaus is available to discuss with the press his visit and the economic development of the Harlem Valley at (845) 486-2000.


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