News Release


For More Information:

William R. Steinhaus
Dutchess County Executive
Telephone:  (845) 486-2000
, FAX: (845) 486-2021, , FAX: (845) 486-2021,


October 17, 2001


Proven Strategy for Businesses and Job Growth Expands

Poughkeepsie … Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus has forwarded legislation to the Dutchess County Legislature to amend current boundaries to the Dutchess County Empire Zone (EZ) program, formerly the Economic Development Zone (EDZ) program. 

County Executive Steinhaus said, “The amendments to the current boundaries in the Zone will build upon Dutchess County’s ability to retain existing companies, create investment in business expansion and attract new businesses, as well as strengthen our ability to stimulate job growth.  For the first time in the zone’s history properties in the City of Beacon and the Town of Dover in the Harlem Valley are being added to the Zone, to spur opportunities and incentives for new added and better wage jobs in these communities,” Steinhaus said.

In Beacon, two properties totaling nine acres are proposed for the Zone addition:  four acres of the Beacon Terminal property and five acres of the Sand and Stone land on Route 52.  In the Town of Dover, buildings on five acres of grounds on the former Harlem Valley Psychiatric Center property have been added to the Zone. In the Arlington area of the Town of Poughkeepsie, Zone boundaries were realigned to closely reflect the boundaries of the new Business Improvement District (BID).  In East Fishkill, the Hudson Valley Research Park was reconfigured to maximize the use of Zone benefits.  Zone incentives also encourage residential investment in renovations; in the City of Poughkeepsie, historic properties on Eastman Terrace and South Hamilton Street have been added to the investment incentives.

According to County Executive Steinhaus, “Since we launched the original EDZ program in 1994, a total of 177 Dutchess County businesses have been certified to qualify for the incentives offered under this policy strategy; 11 more are currently pending certification.  More than 5,800 jobs have been created.  Of the total number of businesses certified, 148 of them are in the City of Poughkeepsie, helping to bring many needed jobs to the urban core.  We are committed to providing the available tools to keep Dutchess County at the forefront of job growth in New York State.”

“The Zone Administration Board is pleased that state guidelines now give us the flexibility to include property throughout Dutchess County in the Zone.  The new properties chosen to be included in this boundary revision meet criteria established by the Zone Board on the recommendation of the Zone Business Development Committee, chaired by John Mack, former CEO of Central Hudson,” stated D. David Conklin, Chairperson, Zone Administration Board.  “Zone incentives have proven to be very effective in recruiting and retaining businesses in Dutchess County, and we believe that this boundary revision is just another step in helping Dutchess County maintain its position as a leader in attracting and retaining businesses and providing high quality jobs for its residents.” The Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation (DCEDC) provides staff support to the Zone Board, ensuring cooperation and coordination between the activities of DCEDC and the Zone Board.  The Dutchess County Department of Planning and Development also plays a key role in the EZ program.

Duchess County has been recognized for its very aggressive, multi-dimensional and comprehensive job growth efforts.  Such recognitions include: Plants, Sites & Parks, March 2001 cited IBM’s Chip-Fab Plant in East Fishkill as one of the top 25 U.S. Business Projects; Expansion Management, January 2001 ranked Dutchess County No. 4 in the nation in High-Tech Growth; Expansion Management, October 1999 rated Dutchess County a Five-Star Community for Quality of Life; The Wall Street Journal in October 2000 ranked Dutchess County 6th in the country for growth in household income; and The Wall Street Journal in November 1999 ranked Dutchess County’s “Big Blue Country” among the 13 hottest regions for high tech in America.

Zone guidelines emphasize industrial, services or other non-retail reuse of existing buildings and development of underused or vacant land that may not necessarily occur without incentive. The guidelines encourage the development of properties with identified needs such as inadequate infrastructure or building code issues.  Importantly, boundary amendments must be consistent with local land use plans and zoning laws

Zone boundaries are reviewed annually to ensure properties are being marketed and to identify new opportunities for capital investment development.  Any revisions are subject to public hearings and approvals in each of the respective communities.  After approvals at the municipal and County levels, the amendments are submitted to the State for approval.  Inclusion in the EZ does not change the zoning or approved use or site plan requirements of these properties.  Any development of these properties must be consistent with community planning objectives. 

Communities currently participating in the Zone are the City of Poughkeepsie, the Towns of Poughkeepsie, East Fishkill and Fishkill and the Village of Fishkill.  Participating communities and Dutchess County government share the costs of administering the Zone.  Next year, Beacon and Dover will contribute to the Zone because of their added properties. 


2001 Press Releases