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Legislator Dissatisfied With Economic Development Funding

Ed Day wants legislative committee to review Rockland’s application process for Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council Awards

 

Rockland County Legislator Ed Day (R-New City-Pomona) wants to find out why the county received few of the grants awarded to the Mid-Hudson region as part of the Regional Economic Development Council initiative. Day called for a meeting of the legislature’s Economic Development Committee to examine the process and how Rockland can improve its chances. 

“There were 11 applications from Rockland and one from the Palisades Interstate Park Commission (submitted),” said Day.

He said the end results were disappointing. 

"Of the eighty-four (84) projects, with grants totaling $92.8 million, there were only three single recipient project awards, valued at $1.85 million, for Rockland applicants,” said Day. “While admittedly a rough overview, gaining a mere two percent of the total dollars awarded appears damning and frankly is unacceptable to me.”

Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski previously also called attention to Rockland’s apparent lack of success in receiving award funds and plans to look into the state’s approval process. Day said the two inquiries would be complementary with the goal to help improve the county’s economy. 

“There needs to be a more broad, a more joint approach of county government,” explained Day. “We need to have a aggressive course of action for economic development.”

The Rockland-based projects selected are all located in Ramapo. They include $500,000 for construction of a medical office building by Bon Secours Charity Health System; $600,000 for a community grocery store and expansion of a service organization in New Square; and $750,000 to acquire vacant land for expansion of the Hatzlacha supermarket and the nonprofit SHARE in the Village of New Square. 

Day observed no funding found its way to four of the five Rockland towns and that surrounding counties fared much better, with 20 awards going to Westchester County and 12 for Orange County. Day emphasized getting the awards is critical if Rockland’s tax base is be increased instead of relying on raising the tax rate. 

“Investment, the creation of wealth, increasing jobs, and broadening our tax base are the strategies that will bring economic vitality to Rockland, not accepting the status quo and raising taxes. Gaining two percent of the pie is not fundamentally changing anything here in Rockland, and given the economic pressure we are all feeling, it is critical in my view to identify where the shortcomings are. Is it a matter of the process or is it something systemic that can be improved upon,” said Day.

He expects the hearing will be scheduled later in January for legislature’s Economic Development Committee.  Information on agendas for scheduled legislative committee meetings can be found here.

Watchdog January 08, 2013 at 09:59 PM
Wendy, I read Mr. Days article again and he is not blaming anyone nor does he even mention Schoenberger. There were no negative comments by him. I think you owe Mr. Day an apology.
Wendy Schmidt January 08, 2013 at 11:57 PM
I don't owe him an apology since this article is basically for campaign purposes
Watchdog January 09, 2013 at 12:44 AM
You clearly misrepresented what Mr. Day has said, manipulating it for your own purposes. You need to apologize for your transgressions. Fess up.
Wendy Schmidt January 09, 2013 at 01:03 AM
I have made no transgression. The article is a self-serving one since Day wants to be County Executive. All hot air, and I had mostly responded to your statements and said IF those were also Day's opinions. Nice try, "Watchdog". Hiding behind a nickname and not using your name
Don January 09, 2013 at 02:19 AM
Wendy, Ed has been communicating his involvement and opinions on many issues to his constituents for a long time, long before he had plans to run... which is more than we can say about any other legislators.

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