Saturday, May 20, 2006
Blaber News Person Of The Week Congressman Maurice Hinchey
Blaber News is pleased to have Congressman Maurice Hinchey as this weeks person of the week. Congressman Hinchey represents the 22nd district of New York. "I always say we are spoiled to have Hinchey as our congressman, we have such great representation here in Ulster County because of Maurice," said Blaber.
Congressman Maurice Hinchey has a proven record of getting results for the communities he represents. Since 1995, he has delivered nearly $3 billion for the 22nd Congressional District, including $220 million for Ulster County. In the last two years, Hinchey has secured more than $18 million for projects in Ulster County.
These federal investments in our region have created jobs, helped communities provide the infrastructure for economic growth, have made low-cost capital available for business startups and expansion, strengthened our schools and health care systems, promoted our tourism industry and lured new businesses to the area.
Highlights from the 108th Congress include:
Kingston: $499,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education's Physical Education Program to the Kingston City School District, allowing the district to improve and expand its physical education programs.
Saugerties: Hinchey successfully earmarked $150,000 for the Saugerties Boys and Girls Club to help finance renovations to its new headquarters.
Environmental & Historic Protection
Countywide: For the 2003 and 2004 fiscal years, Hinchey secured $1.15 million for the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area to fund its grant program for communities and non-profit organizations to preserve significant sites in the Hudson Valley, perform public outreach and education, and promote tourism and community-based economic development. An additional earmark of $500,000 was included in the House-passed version of the Interior Appropriations spending bill for the upcoming fiscal year.
Cragsmoor: Hinchey successfully earmarked $750,000 for the Sam's Point Preserve Visitors' Center in the House-passed version of highway reauthorization legislation, which is still awaiting final approval. Funding will be used to construct a visitors' center and improve entrance to the 4700-acre wilderness area on the Shawangunk Ridge.
East Kingston: $532,000 low-interest loan and $562,000 grant to the town of Ulster from the U.S.D.A. for the development of the East Kingston Water District, serving 64 users.
Glenerie: $162,900 low-interest loan from the USDA's Rural Development Administration for the completion of the Glenerie Water District in the Town of Ulster.
Highmount: $475,000 Land and Water Conservation Fund grant to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for renovations at Belleayre Ski Resort.
Kingston: Hinchey successfully earmarked $1.6 million for Kingston's waterfront restoration in the House-passed version of highway reauthorization legislation, which is still awaiting final approval. Funding will be used to enhance the waterfront promenade by constructing a landscaped trail from the proposed Noah Hotel to Kingston Point.
Kingston: In the 2004 fiscal year, Hinchey earmarked $100,000 for historic preservation of the Old Dutch Church, which will fund emergency repairs to its exterior.
Marlborough: $150,000 grant to the Town of Marlborough for improvements to Cluett-Schantz Memorial Park, including the addition of two multi-purpose athletic fields and new tennis courts. The grant was awarded through the National Park Service's Land and Water Conservation Fund.
New Paltz: $250,000 Land and Water Conservation Fund grant to the Town of New Paltz for the construction of a 78-acre sports and recreation park.
New Paltz: $250,000 Save America's Treasures grant for the stabilization and repair of the Jean Hasbrouck House, one of the few surviving examples of the late 17th century dwellings build by French Huguenots who founded New Paltz.
Shandaken: Hinchey submitted testimony to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation urging that it give the most rigorous scrutiny to the proposed Crossroads Ventures, LLC development. Subsequently, he filed public comments strongly opposing the proposal, which threatened the New York City Watershed and Catskill Park.
Kingston: Hinchey secured a $350,000 earmark for Benedictine Hospital to help construct and equip an on-campus Comprehensive Oncology Center to fill the critical need for cancer treatment in the area.
Countywide: $52,800 grant for housing counseling to the Rural Ulster Preservation Company. The HUD program helps families understand the home buying process, get credit problems fixed and helps them avoid predatory lending practices.
Ellenville: $400,000 Youthbuild grant from HUD to Ulster BOCES to expand its program to the Village of Ellenville. Twenty young people will be trained in housing construction as they renovate a house located in the village.
Kingston: $350,000 grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York's Affordable Housing Program to the Kingston Housing Authority. KHA will create Birchwood Village, an 80-unit rental housing complex for single-parent households and homeless families.
Kingston: $1 million commitment over five years to Family of Woodstock from HUD's Transitional Living Program for Runaway and Homeless Youth to assist homeless youth and help them make the transition to independence.
Jobs & Economic Development
Kingston: $465,000 Small Business Administration loan for the purchase and rehabilitation of the Skytop Motel and Restaurant. The loan allows the property's new owners to reopen the hotel, create seven jobs and eventually reopen the restaurant.
Kingston: $1.91 million Section 108 loan guarantee from HUD to the City of Kingston for the Noah Hotel project on Kingston's waterfront. The loan guarantee brings to $10.2 million the total federal funding Hinchey has secured for the project, which includes the construction of a 57-room hotel, conference center and 16-boat slip on the Rondout Creek.
Kingston: Announced that the City of Kingston had qualified as a HUD entitlement community, entitling the city to guaranteed annual funding through the Community Development Block Grant program instead of competing for funding for CDBG grants with other small cities around the state. CDBG grants are used for small business development and community revitalization.
Kingston: Hinchey successfully earmarked $594,000 for streetscape improvements in historic uptown Kingston in the House-passed version of highway reauthorization legislation, which is still awaiting final approval. The upgrades to sidewalks and pedestrian crossings will make uptown Kingston businesses more accessible and attractive to shoppers.
Kingston: In the 2003 fiscal year, Hinchey earmarked $1 million to Ulster County for the construction of a visitors' center, drawing new tourism business to the county.
Kingston: Hinchey secured a $400,000 earmark for the Kingston-Newburgh Enterprise Community, to continue KNEC's efforts to promote urban renewal and economic development through job training initiatives. The funds would enable KNEC to continue to offer training programs for local community college students to transition into the local workforce, sponsor job fairs and establish counseling and referral programs.
Lake Katrine: $173,000 Small Business Administration Loan to Excel Auto Glass, allowing the company to purchase new, larger headquarters.Milton: $1.5 million low-interest loan guarantee to Hudson Valley Domicile, LLC. Hudson Valley Domicile is constructing a more than 87,000-square-foot air-supported dome in Milton. It will contain four artificial turf fields suitable for indoor soccer, lacrosse, flag football and field hockey. The facility will also include an indoor golf driving range and batting cages. The project will create nine full-time jobs and 15 part-time jobs.
Saugerties: Hinchey brokered a deal between the Army Corps of Engineers and Horseshows in the Sun (HITS) proprietor Tom Struzzieri that allowed HITS to build a state-of-the-art equestrian facility in Saugerties. The ACOE had raised concerns about wetlands areas on the HITS property. In exchange for permission to move forward with its plans, HITS contributed $250,000 toward the acquisition of 125 acres of property adjacent to the Esopus Creek in the Village of Saugerties. This acquisition by the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development and the Esopus Creek Conservancy will mitigate three acres of wetlands impacted by the HITS development. HITS is expected to annually generate $30 million of economic activity for Saugerties and the surrounding area.
Saugerties: Hinchey successfully earmarked $1 million for street upgrades in the Village of Saugerties in the House-passed version of highway reauthorization legislation, which is still awaiting final approval. He also earmarked $125,000 in appropriations legislation for the project. Funding will be used for the village's nine-point beautification plan, which includes such projects as improved street lighting, Main Street cleanup and tree revitalization.
Countywide: The Ulster Regional Drug Court received a $16,750 grant as part of a $3.4 million earmark that Hinchey secured for New York State to expand its drug treatment court system. Treatment courts provide supervised drug treatment, testing and monitoring for non-violent offenders.
Claryville: $198,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program for the purchase of a new fire engine.
High Falls: $109,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program to support firefighter safety programs of the High Falls Fire Department.
Kingston: $132,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program to support firefighter safety programs of the Kingston City Fire Department.
Pine Hill: $15,500 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program to support firefighter safety programs of the Pine Hill Fire Company.
Plattekill: $76,400 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program to support firefighter safety programs.
Ruby: $48,700 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program to support firefighter safety programs.
Countywide: Hinchey earmarked $50,000 for improved bus service in Ulster County through the Jobs Access and Reserve Commute (JARC) program, which connects low-income workers to available jobs.
Countywide: In the 2004 fiscal year, Hinchey earmarked $40,000 for Ulster County Area Transit for the purchase of a new transit support vehicle. The vehicle will be used to respond to safety-related bus failures on the road, greatly reducing the need to tow buses at significant costs to the county.
Countywide: Hinchey earmarked $900,000 for Ulster County Rural Transportation for the construction of a bus garage.
Kingston: Hinchey secured a $240,000 earmark for the City of Kingston to upgrade its buses and purchase new buses.
Saugerties: Hinchey successfully earmarked $500,000 for the relocation of Tissal Road in the House-passed version of highway reauthorization legislation, which is still awaiting final approval. Funding will be used to reroute traffic at the intersection of Tissal Road, Old Kingston Highway and the CSX rail line at the entrance to the Northeast Solite plant.
Posted by Jeremy Blaber at 8:27 PM