Archive for the "Press Release" Category

Join Us on a Journey of Discovery – Friday, May 6th

Please join us when the Greater Walkway Experience’s Aerial Tour takes flight at the Bardavon 1869 Opera House on Friday, May 6th. Starting at 5:15 pm, Walkway Executive Director Elizabeth Waldstein-Hart, in partnership with City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison and Town of Lloyd Supervisor Paul Hansut will kick-off the campaign with the video and wayfinding program as part of Poughkeepsie’s’  First Friday celebration.

Greater Walkway Experience from First Friday Poughkeepsie on Vimeo.

The Greater Walkway Experience builds on the success of the Walkway by connecting it’s 500,000 annual visitors to the rich array of natural, historical, cultural and hospitality resources found throughout the Hudson Valley.  The Greater Walkway Experience project highlights  newly created Discovery Zones in Poughkeepsie & Highland  and provides a proud showcase of these resources and the stunning natural beauty of the region. The memorable 4 minute video is sure to leave a lasting impression on all those who see it.

Admission is free.

Walkway Volunteers and the video producers will be  available after the kick-off ceremony to meet attendees and highlight the distinctiveness of the Discovery Zones!

A wide range of restaurants and businesses along Main Street and in the downtown area will be offering specials, promotions, tours and samples.

The evening will also feature music and special activities for children along Main St.

City Meetings Now Available on Time Warner Cable

Effective immediately, all meetings held in the City of Poughkeepsie’s Common Council Chambers will be televised live on Time Warner Cable Channel 23.  Verizon Fios customers can continue to view meetings on Fios Channel 39.

In addition to televised broadcasts, city meetings are also available for viewing online at

Calling Hours & Services for Councilman J. Tracy Hermann

Calling hours will be held on Tuesday, March 8, 2016 from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at William. G. Miller & Son Funeral Home, 371 Hooker Avenue, Poughkeepsie.

A memorial service will take place on Wednesday, March 9th at 10:00 am at Christ Episcopal Church, 20 Carroll Street, Poughkeepsie.

In lieu of flowers, donations to support Tracy’s daughter Roxanne can be made to: J. Tracy Hermann Memorial Fund c/o M & T Bank, 4 Jefferson Plaza, Poughkeepsie, 12601.

Obituary: J. Tracy Hermann»


Wreath Laying Ceremony In Memory of Councilman J. Tracy Hermann

Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison and Council Chairman Chris Petsas will lead a wreath laying ceremony on behalf of the city and all city employees in memory of Councilman Tracy Hermann. The ceremony will be held at the Memorial Bell at City Hall (62 Civic Center Plaza)  on Friday, March 4, 2016 at 12:00 pm. All are welcome to join us in remembering Councilman Hermann.

2-1-1 Confidential Helpline

Looking for help?  The United Way of Dutchess-Orange Region’s easy to dial 2-1-1 offers a confidential helpline every day from 9:00am-7:00pm that links people to services they need including food, shelter, volunteer opportunities, legal services, elder and child care and so much more.


Mayor Spearheads New Initiative for Blighted Properties

Today, the City of Poughkeepsie has announced the restructuring of the current Nuisance Committee into a more comprehensive “Neighborhood Stabilization Team.” The team will be comprised of the Mayor, Fire Department, Police Department, Department of Public Works (including Sanitation), Building Department, Corporation Counsel and the City Administrator, who will chair the team. They will meet twice a month to review properties that have violations or issues and review the abandoned/vacant property list to coordinate maintenance of these properties to ensure that they are in compliance with existing ordinances. The team will also review new establishments applying for liquor licenses with the New York State Liquor Authority, as well as license renewals.

The Neighborhood Stabilization Team will aid in the task of issuing violations and subsequent abatements of various properties throughout the City. On the Wednesday of each week, sanitation will focus on larger abatements and during slower times throughout the week, they will focus on smaller abatements.

Mayor Rob Rolison said, “It is crucial to the revitalization of our City that these properties are remediated and cleaned in an effort to restore the safety and beauty of these neighborhoods. We must ensure that properties are restored to the tax rolls and that they become a desirable property for purchase.”

City Re-Opens Garden Street through Public-Private Partnership

City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison and Council Chair Chris Petsas lead the re-opening of Garden Street after its closure 43 years ago. The Mayor and Chairman were joined by Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, John Maserjian from Central Hudson, and Poughkeepsie Alliance Co-Chair Paul Calogerakis, as well as many other local officials, business owner and residents.

Funding for the project was provided from Central Hudson’s Main Street Revitalization program which provided $250,000 to fund the re-opening of the street. This project represents one of the final steps in restoring downtown’s historic grid. Garden Street was closed in 1973 as part of the creation of the pedestrian Main Mall. Main Street was converted back to vehicle traffic in 2001, while Garden and Liberty Streets remained pedestrian. The City hopes to convert Market Street back to two-way by 2017.


From left: Joe Lepore, Joe Bonura, Senator Sue Serino, Councilmember Tracy Hermann, Paul Calogerakis, Mayor Rob Rolison, Council Chaiman Chris Petsas, Councilmember Lorraine Johnson, Anthony Campagiorni, Alana Mikhalevsky, Councilmember Natasha Cherry, County Executive Marc Molinaro, Councilmember Mike Young, County Legislator Barbara Jeter Jackson, DCRCOC President Frank Castella, Councilmember Ann Perry

Mayor Rob Rolison said, “Our plan is that this project will demonstrate that restoring our historic street grid can show enormous benefits to both residents and businesses. The re-opening of this block will reduce the need for residents and visitors alike to circle around such a large block looking for a business or trying to locate parking. I’ve said we’re open for business and this is one of the projects that will make our downtown more inviting to new businesses. We can’t thank Central Hudson, Poughkeepsie Alliance and Dutchess County enough for their role in providing and securing these funds.”

“We’re pleased to be able to offer these grants to enhance and redevelop vital corridors within Mid-Hudson Valley communities that will improve their appearance, attract visitors, and bring about development, revenues and jobs,” said James P. Laurito, President and C.E.O. of Central Hudson.

This project will remove what planners call a “superblock” between Academy and Market Streets, relieve traffic congestion, and allow residents and visitors easier access to the parking options downtown. A significant portion of the pedestrian area was preserved so people can safely walk from the parking lots to Main Street.

Paul Calogerakis of Poughkeepsie Alliance noted, “In partnership with Central Hudson and the City of Poughkeepsie, the Poughkeepsie Alliance is pleased to have played a role in this important project for the Main Street Business District. The opening of Garden Street to vehicular traffic will allow for greater parking access to patrons of Main Street businesses. This is an important step in the economic revitalization of the Main Street district.“ Poughkeepsie Alliance is a partnership of concerned citizens, community associations, nonprofit, faith-based and educational institutions, local businesses and government focused on enhancing the quality of life in, and promoting the revitalization of, the City of Poughkeepsie.

“As a student of this city’s history I am so pleased to see Garden Street returned to a complete street which accommodates both pedestrians and cars. This is an important project for both the first ward, which I represent, and downtown, and I thank all the partners who helped make this happen,” said Chris Petsas, Common Council Chair.

New Community Development Coordinator to Support City’s Revitalization Efforts

City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison and Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro announced today Paul Hesse has been appointed to serve as Dutchess County’s new Community Development Coordinator for urban development efforts, in particular the City of Poughkeepsie’s revitalization efforts. Mr. Hesse will officially begin on Monday, January 11th, 2016 and will be based in City Hall.

From left, Mayor Rob Rolison, Community Development Coordinator Paul Hesse, Councilman Tracy Hermann, County Executive Marc Molinaro, and County Legislator Barbara Jeter-Jackson

From left: Mayor Rob Rolison, Community Development Coordinator Paul Hesse, Councilman Tracy Hermann, County Executive Marc Molinaro, and County Legislator Barbara Jeter-Jackson

As the Community Development Coordinator, Mr. Hesse will coordinate the City’s planning efforts, including providing support for the City’s planning and zoning boards, finalizing the update of the City’s zoning code, and implementing components of the County’s Waterfront Redevelopment Strategy, among other efforts.

“The City is extraordinarily grateful the County has agreed to provide this support to the City, and we are even more grateful the County was able to bring someone with Paul’s reputation and experience back to City Hall,” said Mayor Rolison.

County Executive Marc Molinaro stated, “Poughkeepsie is Dutchess County’s ‘front porch’, for so many, their first opportunity to experience Dutchess County. We know the prosperity of Dutchess County is directly linked to the City of Poughkeepsie’s prosperity. The County has invested a tremendous amount of time and resources into planning efforts such as the Waterfront Redevelopment Strategy that are designed to restore and reinvigorate our Queen City. Having the new Community Development Coordinator based right in the City of Poughkeepsie will ensure those plans can finally become realities all our county residents can benefit from.”

Mr. Hesse is a graduate of SUNY New Paltz and holds a Master of Urban Planning degree from the Urban Affairs and Planning Program at Hunter College – City University of New York. Most recently, he has served as the Senior Research Planner for Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress, where he was involved in a multi-year planning initiative – the Urban Action Agenda – to promote population growth and economic development in the Hudson Valley’s urban centers. His career actually began in the City of Poughkeepsie, where he started in the City’s Building, Planning & Zoning department. He later served in the City’s Office of Social Development, where he was responsible for the administration of the Community Development Block Grant, among other responsibilities.

“I am thrilled to return to the City of Poughkeepsie and am eager to get to work on moving projects forward that will have a tremendous benefit to the City. I look forward to working with the great team of people at the Dutchess County Department of Planning & Development who I know want to see these plans and projects come to fruition. It is an exciting time to be in the City of Poughkeepsie and I am honored to work with Mayor Rolison, as well as County Executive Molinaro and the Dutchess County team, to be part of the City’s revitalization.”

City of Poughkeepsie Common Council Chair Chris Petsas said, “In 1950, our city had 10,000 more people than it does today. We must bring people back to our city if we want a thriving Main Street and jobs for our residents. But we don’t want just any type of development, we want quality development that will honor our past and move us into the future. On behalf of the Common Council, I want to thank the County for bringing a planner of Paul’s reputation back to the City.”

The new Community Development Coordinator partnership is critical in moving forward the collaborative efforts between the City and County that began in 2012, with the City and County as well other partners working together to develop an integrated waterfront plan to create connections up Main Street, and to surrounding neighborhoods.

Dutchess County Commissioner of Planning & Development Eoin Wrafter noted, “The addition of a Community Development Coordinator is vital to foster the implementation of the Waterfront Development Strategy and other plans like the City Center Revitalization and Middle Main, and to help bring appropriate development to the City. The County is pleased that we can provide shared services to the City as they restructure.”

The addition of the Community Development Coordinator will enable the City of Poughkeepsie to restructure planning and building function operations. Mr. Hesse will oversee planning and zoning functions, enabling the Building Department to focus on its core responsibilities.

Mayor Rolison noted, “This restructure will provide additional time and opportunity for the Building Department to focus on our expanded efforts to address distressed properties in the City.” The new partnership has drawn praise from the local community as well.

“We couldn’t be more pleased to see the planning function at the City of Poughkeepsie restored under the able leadership of Paul Hesse. Paul has been a tremendous partner and resource to many efforts in the City of Poughkeepsie, and brings the skills and passion that the City needs to move forward at this critical moment,” said Elizabeth Celaya, Director of Organizational & Community Development at Hudson River Housing.

City Awarded $2 Million in New York State Water Grants

The City of Poughkeepsie recently received notice of their successful award for their water systems projects.

“Great news!  The NYS Water Grants have been announced and the City has been awarded $2 million for the…project – congratulations!” said Allene Endres, Financial Analyst for the NYS EFC.

The City of Poughkeepsie has been notified of its successful application for federal and state subsidies with regard to the design and construction of two major infrastructure projects;

City of Poughkeepsie College Hill Reservoir Replacement & Distribution System Improvements: The City will replace its sole, 95 year-old, 5 million gallon reservoir with two, 2.5 million reservoirs.  The current structure has developed cracks and minor inflow issues.  Additionally, 23,000 linear feet of water mains, also dating from the early 1920’s, will be replaced.

The total cost of the project is $11,688,000.  The City has applied to New York State’s Environmental Facilities Corporation, which receives federal Environmental Protection Administration grants to support subsidies on interest rates, for project financing.  EFC is making available loan interest savings and subsidies up to $7,899,400 for this project through its Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.

City of Poughkeepsie Waste Water Improvement Project: The City has also applied to New York State’s Environmental Facilities Corporation’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund to support improvements to its waste water collections and treatment system.  These include design and construction for sewage treatment plant upgrades, pump station improvements and Combined Sewer Overflow corrections at various locations throughout the City of Poughkeepsie to protect the water quality of the Hudson River. This $11,320,344 project, also financed through EFC, will receive up to $7,641,232 in interest savings and subsidies.

Mayor John C. Tkazyik said, “I would like to thank New York State and the Federal Government for providing the City with a much needed $2 Million grant for improvement for its water systems.  This has been an important award for the City and I would also like to thank City Staff for their hard work and dedication to this grant award.”

Mayor Releases 2016 Preliminary Budget Overview

The Mayor of the City of Poughkeepsie, John C. Tkazyik, released his 2016 Preliminary Budget today.  Below, for your reference, is the budget overview.

“The 2016 budget reflects the continued effort to strengthen the City’s financial position.  For the second year, the 2014 General Fund ended in a surplus.  The 2014 City financial operations reflected the City’s financial improvement with a “distressed designation” upgraded to “moderate”.  The Mayor’s 2016 proposed budget contains conservative, realistic numbers that follow the New York State OSC recommendations and the expectations of Moody’s,” said Mayor John C. Tkazyik.

Press Release: 2016 Preliminary Budget Overview, Budget Summary & Commissioner’s Certification (.pdf)