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City Sees Housing Market Improvements

City Sees Housing Market Improvements

Gains in Total Numbers of Sales & Time-On-Market Data

Following similar trends state-wide, the City of Poughkeepsie housing market has seen appreciable improvements in the key metrics of ‘number of sales’ and ‘time-on-market’.

According to data compiled by the Mid-Hudson Multiple Listing Service annual sales of single family homes increased from 93 in 2013 to 159 in 2017, a 71% increase. Multifamily home annual sales also increased in the same period, from 52 to 88 – a 69% increase.

“Local housing sales data is a leading economic indicator for us and clearly a robust local housing market is important news for our homeowners and taxpayers, who have seen values decline significantly over the last ten years”, said Mayor Rob Rolison.

Average days-on-market, the time it takes a property to sell once listed, declined from 183 to 100 for multifamily homes between 2013 and 2017, an improvement of 45% – while sales of single family homes spent an average of 113 days on the market in 2017, an improvement of 4.2%

“We’re talking with our local real estate professionals regularly and listening carefully to their ideas and concerns. Improving access to information, streamlining application processes, and making local government easier to work with are all important objectives at City Hall. If we keep our local realtors aware of planned improvements, such as what we’re doing at our Department of Public Works, our water and sewer plant improvements, our investment in our Fire and Police Departments and in our sanitation division, then obviously their marketing efforts become all the more engaging”, said Mayor Rolison. Sandy Tambone of the Mid-Hudson Multiple Listing Service said “there is growing optimism on the part of sellers, and increasing interest on the part of buyers, and clearly the City is an increasingly attractive market.”

City Projects 2017 Surplus

City Projects 2017 Surplus

Projected $759,000 Surplus in FY-2017 will further reduce General Fund deficit

Mayor Rob Rolison said today that the City of Poughkeepsie is projecting a year-end general fund surplus of approximately $759,000. The favorable result for 2017 will reduce the city’s cumulative general fund deficit, and further builds on the success achieved in 2016. “This result not only continues our march in the right direction, but it validates our decision to stay under the tax cap in 2018, and to give our restructuring efforts time to take hold”, said Mayor Rolison.

City Commissioner of Finance William Brady said “This is an encouraging finish to a year where we also adopted a strong debt management policy, and began to replace aging equipment, vehicles and infrastructure. We also note improving liquidity and more stable cash flow, which provides flexibility needed to take advantage of cost savings on an opportunity basis without resorting to short-term borrowing”.

Senior Planner Joins City Development Team

Mayor Rolison announced today that Natalie Quinn has joined the city team as its new “Senior City Planner”. The position had been vacant since 2011 as the City grappled with successive years of budget deficits.

Natalie Quinn
Senior City Planner

Ms. Quinn is an urban planner who emphasizes community-engagement and transition strategies as integral approaches to development policy and neighborhood revitalization. Prior to joining the City, Ms. Quinn worked in the private, public and non-profit sectors in New York City, most recently at Kevin Dwarka. LLC, a leading Land Use & Economic Consulting firm, where she provided municipal clients with regulatory and policy analysis focusing on the rejuvenation of commercial districts. While in that role, in partnership with the Pace Land Use Law Center, she worked on analysis specific to the City of Poughkeepsie including the “Innovation District Plan and Zoning Update” and the “Transit and Complete Streets Analysis”. Prior to her time with Kevin Dwarka LLC, Ms. Quinn worked at the N.Y.C. Department of City Planning, Bike New York, and the Citizen’s Planning Association of Santa Barbara, California.

“We are thrilled to bring such a highly-qualified and talented individual to Poughkeepsie. Natalie has the practical experience which perfectly complements our mission, and she joins us at just the right time”, said Mayor Rolison.

A native Californian, Ms. Quinn received her M.S. degree in urban planning from Columbia University, and a B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has guest-lectured at Yale University and New York University.

“100 Cups of Coffee” Community Gathering – January 9, 2018

Building a kinder, safer, more connected Poughkeepsie

The primary goal of 100 Cups of Coffee, the Poughkeepsie Transformative Dialogue Project is to help improve community relations in Poughkeepsie by providing spaces for people to come together to talk about the things that are of concern to them in their neighborhoods.  This includes ordinary citizens, community leaders from civic organizations, faith organizations, police, and local leaders.  Supporting these conversations will help change the nature of conflict interaction in Poughkeepsie, affecting how individuals understand and react to the situations they find themselves in and allowing groups to deal with their differences in non-violent ways.  The secondary goal of the project is to document the changes in the community and the effectiveness of the dialogue process, allowing Poughkeepsie to serve as a model for other communities interested in becoming kinder, safer and more connected.

More Info: dutchessny.gov/100cupsofcoffee

City of Poughkeepsie Announces Public Survey for New City Branding

The City of Poughkeepsie announced today the publication of a short survey to seek residents’ input about graphical elements that might be incorporated into a new city logo design.

The five question survey invites feedback as to what visual landmarks best represent the city, what style describes the city and survey takers attitudes to the City of Poughkeepsie and what it has to offer.

City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rolison said, that those who live in, work in and/or visit Poughkeepsie are invited to participate.  “In 2018, we will be unveiling a new brand identity for the City of Poughkeepsie and we look forward to learning what our survey participants feel are most representative of the city.  Refreshed branding is an important part of revitalizing our city and has proven effective in many other cities and states.”  The deadline for completing the survey is December 28, 2017.

The direct link to the survey is:  http://goo.gl/forms/pDlmeTM4n0i8Kpfm1

Mayor Rolison and City Council Chairwoman Cherry Plan for Smooth Transition for Newly-Elected Council Members

Four new members will join the Common Council in January, 2018, as the Council expands from eight members to nine as the result of a Charter change approved by voters in 2016. Mayor Rob Rolison announced today that Council Chair Natasha Cherry will oversee the transition and serve as liaison with the administration during the next two months. “It is important that the new council hit the ground running in January. With so many pressing items to address, I am grateful that Chairwoman Cherry has agreed to lead this transition and I look forward to working with her and the new council”, Mayor Rolison said.

The Mayor’s recommended budget for 2018, which lowers sewer rates and stays under the NYS tax cap, awaits approval of the current council. Chairwoman Cherry said “Preparation is the backbone of success. A successful transition period which embraces our new colleagues will lay the groundwork for collaboration among us”.

The outgoing Council has three more meetings, November 20, December 4th and December 18th, and faces a looming deadline from the Federal Transit Authority to transfer its transit assets to Dutchess County or face a $2 Million Federal grant recapture penalty. The FTA sent the City a strongly-worded letter dated November 3rd, warning the City that it had thirty days to comply with the approved disposition plan. Chairwoman Cherry said “I’ve voted several times to transfer these assets. Obviously the current Council owns this problem, and I hope it acts to resolve it now, rather than leaving the incoming Council to face the consequences – enough is enough – and I certainly will not support putting this burden on our taxpayers”

A public hearing on the Mayor’s 2018 budget is expected to be scheduled for December 4th. The Mayor’s annual budget message is available at http://cityofpoughkeepsie.com/archives/7115

City Announces 2016 Surplus: Pays-Down General Fund Deficit by $873,904

CITY ANNOUNCES 2016 SURPLUS

PAYS-DOWN GENERAL FUND DEFICIT BY $873,904

Mayor Rob Rolison said today that the City of Poughkeepsie ended 2016 with a surplus in its General Fund of $873,904, which is applied to reduce the City’s cumulative fund balance deficit.

“The City ended 2015 with a $1.9 Million Dollar deficit, so clearly our efforts to cut costs and stabilize the budget are having a real impact on our overall financial condition”, said the Mayor.

The City’s general fund deficit has now been reduced to approximately $11.9 Million.

City Finance Commissioner, Marc Nelson, said “with a negative fund balance, we obviously have zero reserves, which makes budgeting and forecasting accuracy absolutely essential. It’s very clear that the decisions made since the beginning of 2016 are behind the stabilization of the City’s finances.”

In December, 2016 Moody’s Investors Service issued a “Credit Positive” statement about the City’s financial condition, saying its 2017 budget signaled a move towards “structural balance”.

Seven months later, in July, 2017, the credit rating agency upgraded their outlook for the City from “negative” to “stable”.

“Our Finance Committee, Councilmen Lee Klein (R-4th Ward) and Mike Young (D-2nd Ward), have provided important leadership on financial matters, and their team approach on problem-solving has made a big difference”, said Mayor Rolison.

“These financial results signal an improving ability to govern more proactively and to address more of the issues that have gone unattended in our community for far too long”, the Mayor said.

Culinary Institute of America Community Outreach Day- October 21, 2017

On Saturday,  October 21, 2017, about 180 students and faculty from the Culinary Institute of America will be descending upon the City of Poughkeepsie to participate in a city-wide park clean–up event.  They will be donning their work gloves and work boots to rid the parks of litter and debris before the first snow fall.

All three campuses of the CIA will be participating in Community Outreach Activities the weekend of October 21st and 22nd.

On behalf of Mayor Rolison, the Common Council and the residents of the City, thank you for your efforts in preparing the parks for Winter.  It is a tremendous help.

Statement from Mayor Rolison regarding Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Corey George Ingram

The City of Poughkeepsie
New York

It is with great sadness we learn today that City of Poughkeepsie resident Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Corey George Ingram is among those listed as missing following the recent accident involving the USS John McCain.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Corey’s family, friends, and fellow shipmates.

As the search continues, the Queen City sits with a heavy heart as we await the return of our hero, Corey George Ingram.

We also extend our prayers to the families of the other missing sailors.

Mayor Vetoes Resolution to Continue City Bus Service

Veto Message

June 28, 2017

TO: Deanne L. Flynn, City Chamberlain
FROM: Mayor Robert G. Rolison
SUBJECT: Veto Concerning Resolution (R-17-43) – Budget Transfer from Employee Healthcare to Transit Fund Subsidy


Pursuant to the authority vested in me by Article III, Section 3.02 of the Charter and 3.04 of the Administrative Code of the City of Poughkeepsie, I hereby veto Resolution R-17-43 which was adopted by the Common Council at a Special Meeting held on June 27, 2017. This veto is cast within ten days pursuant to Section 3.02 (f) of the City Charter.

On April 20, 2017 I vetoed a similar resolution which proposed to delay the implementation of this vital initiative. That Resolution sought a six-month extension of the City bus service, ostensibly so that the City could further study ways to make our own system efficient and sustainable. Today’s Resolution, cloaked as another attempt to extend funding for the buses, is really an attempt to derail the orderly transfer of the buses themselves to Dutchess County.

Because the buses were largely paid-for by the Federal government, they must continue to be used and they must be transferred to the County, or else the City will be required to pay back the remaining federal interest after depreciation is considered. I have been informed by our Finance Commissioner that this so-called “Federal recapture” could be more than $1.2 Million Dollars.

This Resolution confirms that some current members of our Common Council just do not care about what things cost, or what damage they do to the City’s hopes of regaining its financial footing. In fact, it’s clear they do not care what this Resolution signals to our stakeholders, grantors, or  taxpayers.

I hope that this Veto also sends a strong message – a message that we will not continue down the same tried-and-failed paths of the past, that we recognize the strong support we have received and will need for some time, from the County, the State and – most importantly – from within our own community, and that in this battle between fiscal recklessness and good government we either all win – or we all lose.

Respectfully,
Hon. Robert G. Rolison
Mayor