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Congratulations to the Poughkeepsie Pioneers!

“It is with great pride I congratulate the Poughkeepsie High School Boys Basketball Team on winning the Class A New York State Championship over the weekend.  It is the first time that Poughkeepsie has captured a State title since 1995; and, it is the first time that any Dutchess County basketball team has won a State title since 1999. 

Our boys are not only winners on the court, but they also learned an important life lesson as they now enjoy the rewards of their many months of hard work, dedication, and resilience.

It is my hope that the entire City of Poughkeepsie will join me in congratulating our new State Champs. In the near future, the team will be invited to join me at the Mayor’s Office, and we will plan a parade to properly celebrate our champions.”

-Mayor Rob Rolison

Statement from Mayor Rolison Regarding Ongoing Police Investigation

The following is a statement by Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison regarding an ongoing investigation into an altercation between two Poughkeepsie City School students which occurred along the Eastbound Arterial Highway on Monday, March, 11th at approximately 4:00 p.m. 

At this time, it appears that during an altercation between two female students, which was viewed and video-recorded by a large group of individuals, two juveniles were arrested for interfering with the police effort to break-up the fight. The fight is believed to be a continuation of an earlier altercation involving the same two students in the 4:00 p.m. fight. The Poughkeepsie Police Department responded to the original altercation and successfully de-escalated the situation.

“The review of the incident is progressing in a timely but deliberate manner, and I am receiving frequent updates from Police Chief Pape and our City Administrator.  Additional video, as well as written witness statements and facts uncovered from a number of eye-witnesses have advanced our understanding of the situation. At this time, we are waiting for more information in this developing investigation, so that we may make a fair and reasonable judgement as to what actually occurred.”

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the residents of Poughkeepsie, members of our community, and community leaders for their patience and understanding while we continue to fully and thoroughly investigate this matter.”

State of the City Address – March 28, 2019

Mayor Rob Rolison will deliver the State of the City Address on Thursday, March 28th, at 5:30 pm at Changepoint Theater, 260 Mill Street, Poughkeepsie.  All are welcome to attend.

Mayor Rolison will review the progress made over the last year and provide details on the exciting initiatives being planned for 2019 and beyond. Seating is limited, so please RSVP by March 22nd to [email protected] or (845) 451-4073.

Over $2 Million Awarded by New York State for City Projects

Continuing a trend of increasing grant revenue, more than $2 million dollars were awarded this week for development and green infrastructure projects in the City of Poughkeepsie.  The award announcement came during the most recent round of the New York State Consolidated Funding Applications.  A project at 33-35 Academy Street known as “The Hive” was awarded $1,205,000 to convert two vacant buildings into a food hall and market, brewery, co-working space and apartments in the heart of downtown.  Nearby, two city-owned parking lots will be retrofitted with green infrastructure elements to treat stormwater runoff onsite, helping to improve water quality in the Fall Kill and Hudson River.

Rendering of 33-35 Academy Street – “The Hive”

Mayor Rob Rolison said, “These latest grant awards demonstrate that New York State recognizes the upward trajectory of the City of Poughkeepsie.  Momentum and interest in our city continues to build, and we are seeing increasing private investment such as The Hive coming into downtown as well as other areas of the city.  For our part, the city is increasingly focused on sustainability and protecting the environment, such as through green infrastructure improvements to our downtown parking lots.  These two projects complement each other and demonstrate what can happen when the public and private sectors work together toward common goals.”

Mayor Rob Rolison Announces Judicial Appointment

Mayor Rob Rolison announces the appointment of Scott L. Volkman who was rated “highly qualified” by the Judicial Screening committee, to serve as a City of Poughkeepsie Court Judge.  Scott L.Volkman will fill the vacancy created by the mandatory retirement of Judge Thomas J. O’Neill on January 1, 2019.

Scott Volkman is an attorney and a lifelong resident of Poughkeepsie. He graduated from the University at Albany with a BA in political Science in 1982 and received his Juris Doctor from the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law in 1985. 

Continue reading Mayor Rob Rolison Announces Judicial Appointment

Celebration of Lights Parade & Fireworks – November 30, 2018

The City of Poughkeepsie in conjunction with the Bardavon 1869 Opera House and the Poughkeepsie River District Business Association will present the 25th annual Celebration of Lights Parade and Fireworks on Friday, November 30 at 6:30pm.  Each year thousands of people attend this popular, family-friendly event, voted by Dutchess County Tourism as the “Best Event” of the holiday season.

The line-up for the parade begins at 5:30pm and will commence at 6:30pm from the Crannell Street Parking Lot on Catharine Street and proceed down Main Street to the evening’s first Christmas tree lighting at Mural Square.   The Celebration of Lights Parade is led by City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison along with County Executive Marcus Molinaro and members of the City of Poughkeepsie Common Council.

The parade ends at Dongan Square Park at the intersection of Mill Street and North Clover Street where a second Christmas tree lighting will take place in conjunction with several short performances.  The festivities conclude with the area’s only winter fireworks being displayed along the Poughkeepsie waterfront.  These activities will take place at approximately 7:15pm.

Following the parade and fireworks at 8:00pm there will be a screening of Home Alone at the Bardavon 1869 Opera House for a price of $6 per person.  It is suggested to purchase tickets ahead of time as the movie tends to sell out.

Traffic Advisory

The parade will assemble in the city parking lot at Crannell St., beginning around 5:30PM and will step off at 6:30 PM.

The parade will pause at Mural Sq. on Main St. for a brief tree lighting ceremony and then continue to its final destination at Dongan Park. During the parade, Main St will be closed from Academy St. to N. Clover St., and North Clover St will be closed from Main St. to Mill St. Mill St. from N. Perry St. to Verrazano Blvd will be closed for the duration of the event, including the parade and fireworks, which will be setting off approximately 7:30PM.

During the event, heavy delays are to be expected in the downtown area, including Mill St., Columbus Dr. (Rt 44/55 westbound), Main St. and points west. Alternate routes to the Poughkeepsie Train Station are strongly urged during this time period. Rinaldi Blvd and North Water St. via Rt 9 access to the lower river front area is likely the best alternate route to get to the train station.

City’s Youth Grant Program to be Renewed after Successful First Year

On Tuesday, Mayor Rob Rolison announced that $100,000 has been allocated this year to support a variety of youth programs throughout the City. The “Youth Activities & Opportunities Program”, which was introduced as part of the City’s 2018 budget, has helped local organizations by providing funding to support clubs and leagues as well as summer and educational programs. These programs have allowed Poughkeepsie youth to participate in community-based programs that emphasize active lifestyles, provide creative outlets, and build long-lasting relationships. Based on the success of the program in its first year, Mayor Rob Rolison’s 2019 City budget increases funding for the program to $140,000. The Common Council is expected to vote on the Mayor’s proposed budget in early December.

Social Development Director, Jaclyn Greenwald said “This program provides important financial assistance for programs that support the mission of expanding youth opportunities both after school and during the summer months, improving quality of life, building individual strength and confidence, and contributing towards improved academic outcomes as well.”

Laurel Spuhler, member of the Youth Grant Advisory Committee which reviews applications, said: “I appreciated being on this committee to help provide opportunities for the young people living in the city of Poughkeepsie. Children and young adults benefited from being part of summer groups, sports leagues, creative projects as well as organizations committed to instilling confidence in our young people. The goal is to offer our youth experiences that will stay with them their whole lives.”

City Receives Three Grants Through Dutchess County “Municipal Innovation Grant Program”

The City has been notified by Dutchess County that we have been selected as the recipient of three separate grants – all awarded under the County’s “Municipal Innovation Grant Program”

One grant, in the amount of $75,000 funds our participation in the Child Advocacy Center (CAC). A second award in the amount of $168,700 was made for the 911 Phone System Consolidation & Shared Network Initiative, and the third grant was awarded for Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) in the amount of $256,850. The CIT program award continues prior year’s funding and reflects the demonstrated success of the City’s efforts in this important area of training and development. The 911 Phone System grant will permit significant modernization of the system, enhancing public safety operations throughout the area for years to come.

The Municipal Innovation Grant Program was announced back in 2013 by County Executive Marcus Molinaro. The program was created to incentivize municipalities, through a competitive grant program process, to consolidate services, produce shared services, eliminate layers of government, evaluate municipal consolidation opportunities and implementation possibilities, establish the regional delivery of services, and/or implement efficiency improvements. The grant program is administered under the direction of the Dutchess County Department of Planning & Development.

The City of Poughkeepsie expresses its appreciation to Dutchess County and to our partners at its Planning and Development Department. In addition to annual grant support, Dutchess County provides the City with significant non-financial support. The City and County recently completed a successful consolidation of the City’s transit system, which resulted in expanded routes and broadened transit’s hours of operations in the City to include Sundays. That initiative is estimated to save City of Poughkeepsie taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars annually, and won the state-wide “Government Efficiency Award” from the New York Conference of Mayors earlier this year.

City Administrator, Marc Nelson, said “This grant program has an extremely high return on investment, not just in the City but throughout the region. This strong support in such a competitive grant program signals growing confidence that the City is getting its fiscal house in order while improving its delivery of services”.

City of Poughkeepsie Parks Improvement Survey

Survey Link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/pkgoparks

Our parks are one of many treasures here in the City of Poughkeepsie. They say a lot about our priorities as a community. They are regularly used by thousands of our residents, as well as by visitors from around the region, and their value is immeasurable for the opportunities they provide. We will soon be embarking on a comprehensive parks improvement plan which will upgrade, replace or repair park infrastructure. From essential and long-deferred work on our city pools, to fixing long-broken stone walls, benches and other park facilities, it’s time we return to a strategic and proactive maintenance and care program that protects our parks.

Please help us focus our available resources on the areas that are most important to you by completing our online parks survey at surveymonkey.com/r/pkgoparks. You may also email us at [email protected] if you would like to give us additional feedback or suggestions in areas not covered by the survey questions.

I am very proud of the work we’ve done together to restore our City to fiscal health. Our efforts over the last two years have brought us to a point where we can now begin to make real progress on important quality-of-life issues which were previously neglected. Your feedback is an important part of this process, so thank you in advance for taking the survey.

Yours,
Rob Rolison
Mayor

City and School District Announce “Collaboration For Progress”

Collaboration for Progress

The City of Poughkeepsie and the City School District announced today the launch of a new “collaboration for progress” designed to leverage the strengths of both organizations for the benefit of all. The partnership seeks-out opportunities to work together where missions align, and to identify potential shared services that improve organizational efficiencies, reduce costs, or which enhance the quality of life in the community.

A Renewed Partnership…

Interim Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Farrell and School Board President Dr. Felicia Watson met this week with Mayor Rob Rolison, City Administrator Marc Nelson and Corporation Counsel Paul Ackermann, to discuss key areas that could most clearly benefit from a renewed partnership between the City and its School District.

The new partnership will focus on the primary issues of safety, infrastructure, and community engagement.

Mayor Rolison said “At City Hall we know the importance of seizing opportunities that come with transition. Greater alignment between the school district and city government will take our community further in the right direction, while at the same time assuring improved outcomes for our students. We look forward to working with Dr. Farrell in her new role, and we know that our newly constituted School Board, led by Dr. Watson, is committed to this also.”

Dr. Watson said, “The future of any community is built on the strength of its children. Quality education is its cornerstone. The positive change over the past two years in the City of Poughkeepsie and within our School District have set the stage for increased collaboration that will bring together our students, teachers, administrators, parents, community organizations and our local government.”

Dr. Farrell said, “The collaboration of our public school, our community partners, city government, as well as our faith-based partners, is essential as we strive to meet the needs of our youth and their families. The relationships that develop via collaboration provide a wide net of support and assure that our students succeed.  There are many areas where the city and district can work together in a cost effective manner — saving our taxpayers dollars, working efficiently, and making improvements for all citizens to enjoy. “