Archive for the "Press Release" Category

Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet Nets $30,000, Dollar-for-Dollar Challenge Grant from Rhinebeck Bank

Poughkeepsie City School District Superintendent Dr. Eric Rosser and City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison today announced a $30,000 challenge grant by Rhinebeck Bank to support the Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet.

Launched by the mayor and school superintendent last year, the Cabinet is a coordinating body that brings together decision makers, leaders and community representatives to improve the lives of children, young people and families in the City of Poughkeepsie.

The challenge grant was proposed by Rhinebeck Bank President and CEO Michael Quinn and approved unanimously and with enthusiasm by the bank’s board of directors.

The $30,000, dollar-for-dollar grant represents half of the $60,000 being sought to fund Cabinet staff and community engagement programming for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year.

Businesses and individuals are encouraged to participate in the fundraising campaign, with Rhinebeck Bank matching by Feb. 1 every dollar donated by others up to the $30,000 maximum.

The grant is being made in memory of Thomas Wade, a former Rhinebeck Bank director, who died Nov. 4, 2020, at age 83.

Wade, a Hyde Park resident, had a long and distinguished career in education and community service.

“We are not surprised by Rhinebeck Bank’s generosity,” said Mayor Rolison. “Under Michael Quinn’s leadership, the bank has taken a keen interest in helping the City of Poughkeepsie and the school district make progress, and we believe the work of the Children’s Cabinet is greatly aiding those efforts.”

Dr. Rosser said, “This grant will help maintain momentum of the Children’s Cabinet as we continue to make progress with transforming the Poughkeepsie City School District. The aligned efforts of the Children’s Cabinet and PCSD provides greater opportunity for transformation efforts to have tremendous collective impact on children and families throughout the City of Poughkeepsie.”

“Rhinebeck Bank believes in the City of Poughkeepsie and the Poughkeepsie City School District. The Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet is an innovative experiment in community engagement and seeks to help children and families from cradle to career,” Quinn said. “A community succeeds when its schools succeed, and Rhinebeck Bank encourages everyone to invest in our schools and students. This grant is also an opportunity to memorialize Thomas Wade, whose life centered on education, philanthropy and community service.”

Wade began his career teaching and coaching at St. Mary’s High School in Manhasset. In 1963, he accepted his first position at Marist College as head basketball coach and assistant director of admissions. He remained at Marist College for the next two decades, serving as dean of students and director of development, then starting his own management consulting and fundraising firm.

In addition to his service on the Bank’s board, Wade was chairman of the board for Mid-Hudson Pattern for Progress, chairman of the board for Dutchess County United Way and a board member for both United Way of New York State and Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation.

The Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet recently shared a “Year in Review” report charting its progress to date. This includes selecting an executive committee, facilitating partnerships to create Wi-Fi hotspots to help students in need of internet access during the COVID-19 crisis and preparing to implement an individualized student support system pilot in Poughkeepsie Middle School early this year in partnership with the School District.

The Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet is being aided in its work by an expert team from Harvard University and last year became only the tenth community in the country invited to join the By All Means initiative run by the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Education Redesign Lab. Through this partnership, Poughkeepsie is receiving intensive support from Harvard, including assistance to local consultants and staff, connecting Poughkeepsie leaders with national experts and social impact organizations, promoting exchanges with other By All Means cities and contributing to the documentation and evaluation of Poughkeepsie’s efforts through case studies and reports.

Contributions can be made to the “City of Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet Technical Assistance Fund” at the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley. Cristin McPeake (Vice President, Programs) can be contacted by email at [email protected] or at 845-452-3077 to coordinate details.

To learn more about the Children’s Cabinet, visit

Mayor Lifts Snow Emergency But Urges Cooperation As Crews Continue With Snow Removal

City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison has lifted a snow emergency that was put into place on Wednesday afternoon.

Residents are still urged to find alternative off-street parking or to park their vehicles in public parking lots as the city continues snow removal following a significant snowstorm. The city parking lots will remain open for free on Friday.

“Our crews did a great job dealing with a major snowstorm, but they need the cooperation of the public to help keep the roads clear and safe,” said Mayor Rob Rolison. “We still have significant work to do.”

Sanitation services also are being restored after being suspended during the snow emergency.

City Hall will be open Friday as well, but, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the public is strongly encouraged to make payment for all city services via the city website: or by mail to: 62 Civic Center Plaza, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. 12601, or by using the drop box near the front door of the Police Station on Mansion Street. Appointments for city business also may be made online at:

The mayor also reminded residents to keep fire hydrants in front of their homes clear and accessible in case of emergency. Clearing the snow around the hydrant and shoveling a path to it from the street will give the Fire Department the vital access it needs in emergencies. City officials point out that under the city codes, there is a responsibility of the owner/lessee of property fronting a hydrant to maintain the area clear around the hydrant. Failure to clear and keep clear a hydrant may result in a $100 fine or more.

City of Poughkeepsie Prepares for Possible Significant Snowstorm

As the mid-Hudson Valley prepares for what could be a significant snowfall, City of Poughkeepsie officials are reminding residents of steps they can take to help the city keep the streets safe and clear. Vehicles should be removed from streets and, in the event Mayor Rob Rolison declares a snow emergency, vehicles will be required to be removed from streets that are designated as a snow emergency route.

Residents are encouraged to find alternative off-street parking or to park their vehicles in public parking lots. All City-owned parking lots will be open for free public parking Wednesday, December 15 and Thursday, December 16

a picture of DPW staff and snow fighting equipment
City of Poughkeepsie Department of Public Works employees prepare Tuesday for a potential significant snowstorm later this week. The city uses 32 pieces of equipment during snow events, 21 of which are snowplow/salters.

Fire hydrants also must remain clear and accessible in case of emergency. Clearing the snow around the hydrant and shoveling a path to it from the street will give the Fire Department the vital access it needs in emergencies. City officials remind residents that under the city codes, there is a responsibility of the owner/lessee of property fronting a hydrant to maintain the area clear around the hydrant. Failure to clear and keep clear a hydrant may result in a $100 fine or more.

City officials are also reminding residents to ensure garbage cans are not left on the roads after pickup, as that is a hindrance to the crews working hard to keep the roads clear.

“Our Department of Public Works crews and emergency personnel are ready for this snowstorm, but they do need the cooperation of citizens,” said Mayor Rolison.

“The projections vary about the possible accumulation,” the mayor added. “We urge the public to stay informed and look for updates on our social media and website and through local news reports.”

Residents are advised to only call 911 in the case of an emergency, and to call 845-451-4000 for all non-emergency phone calls. 

Here is a list of the city’s Designated Snow Emergency Routes:

•           Mill Street from Civic Center Plaza to Dongan Square Park

•           Academy Street from Main Street to North-South Arterial Highway

•           Beechwood Avenue from Ferris Lane to City line

•           South Cherry Street from Main Street to Hooker Avenue

•           Civic Center Plaza from Mansion Street to Main Street

•           North Clinton Street from Mansion Street to Route 44/55, westbound

•           Columbia Street from North-South Arterial Highway to Lincoln Avenue

•           North Clover Street from Mill Street to Main Street

•           South Clover Street from Main Street to Union Street

•           Ferris Lane from Hooker Avenue to Beechwood Avenue

•           Grand Avenue from City line at Main Street to Hooker Avenue

•           North Hamilton Street from Parker Avenue to Main Street

•           South Hamilton Street from Main Street to Livingston Street

•           Hooker Avenue from South Hamilton Street to City line

•           Jefferson Street, Route 44/55 to Lincoln Avenue

•           Lincoln Avenue from Montgomery Street to Livingston Street

•           Main Street from Hudson River to City line at Grand Avenue

•           Mansion Street from Smith Street to North Clinton Street

•           Market Street from Main Street to Montgomery Street

•           Montgomery Street from Lincoln Avenue to South Hamilton Street

•           Parker Avenue from Washington Street to City line

•           Reade Place from South Avenue to Young Street

•           Smith Street from City line to Clinton Square

•           South Avenue from Montgomery Street to North-South Arterial Highway

•           Washington Street from City line to Main Street

•           Wilbur Boulevard from Hooker Avenue to City line

City of Poughkeepsie Closing Public Access to City Hall Following More Positive COVID-19 Cases

Following several more positive COVID-19 tests among city employees, City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison announced today City Hall will be closed to the public as of Tuesday until further notice. Two employees who work out of City Hall tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend. Last week, the mayor announced that seven city Department of Public Works employees had tested positive, forcing the closure transfer station at the DPW facilities on Howard Street. Another DPW employee as well as a city firefighter also have now tested positive.

 “It’s imperative we do what we can to protect the health of our employees and the public,” said Mayor Rolison.

Essential workers — including public safety and the sanitation department — will be continuing their shifts. If you have an emergency situation, please call 911. Otherwise, the Police Department’s non-emergency number is 845-451-4000.

Between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, you will be able to contact via phone the following departments: Assessor, 845-451-4039; Building, Planning and Community Development, 845-451-4007; Office of the Mayor, 845-451-4073; City Chamberlain, 845-451-4276; Corporation Counsel, 845-451-4065; Finance Department and Tax Collector, 845-451-4030; and Public Works, 845-451-4111.

The public can make payments for all city services by mail at 62 Civic Center Plaza, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601, or online at, or by using the drop box located in front of the entrance to the police department on the north side of City Hall.

“Once again, we ask the public to be patient during this time due to the current staff shortages. We have been through the closure of City Hall before during this pandemic and have been able to successfully continue to provide services to the public. I greatly appreciate the work of our staff and thank the public in advance for its cooperation.”

Under the New York State Unified Court System, Poughkeepsie Court is continuing operation.

The City of Poughkeepsie has developed a Coronavirus Updates & Resource Guide to provide you with the latest information pertaining to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and to serve as a resource guide,

The Dutchess County website also provides information and updates at:

City of Poughkeepsie Will Cancel Annual Tax Lien Sale

City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison announced today that the City will defer its annual sale of real estate tax liens, affording real property taxpayers who are behind more time to make payment to the City before a lien is placed on the property.

Mayor Rolison said: “A once-in-a-century pandemic continues to cause immense hardship in our community and our nation. If there is one thing we learned from the housing crisis and resulting recession of more than a decade ago, it is that the preservation of homeownership must become a priority earlier in the economic downtown. We also know that a single vacant and abandoned home can pull down property values in an entire neighborhood and will quickly become a magnet for other challenges as well. In my recent budget message, I said that we will not go backward in the face of this crisis, that doesn’t just mean some of us, it means all of us.”

City Administrator Marc Nelson said: “One of my favorite stories is ‘The Little Engine That Could’. For such a small city, Poughkeepsie often is at the forefront of change. From transit consolidation to police reform, we see more municipalities looking at how Poughkeepsie is doing things. Skipping the tax lien sale this year will not only help those in need of additional time to pay, but it will also afford the city an opportunity to analyze its historical reliance on lien sales as an annual revenue stream.”

Taxpayers who have been notified of a pending tax lien sale, applicable to their 2020 property taxes, may disregard that notice and are encouraged to contact the Tax Office at 845-451-4029 to make payment arrangements.

City of Poughkeepsie Releases Requests for Development Proposals for Two-City Owned Properties

The city is seeking qualified parties interested in purchasing and developing city-owned properties at 204 Church St. and 61 Academy St.

204 Church St. is a vacant, three-story 2,765-square-foot building once used as a residence and office. 61 Academy St, is a vacant 7,405-square-foot lot.

These parcels are highly visible and accessible, located on (or just off of) the city’s busy eastbound arterial (Church Street), which sees an average of 25,000 vehicles daily. The parcels are also located on the periphery of the city’s downtown, two blocks south of Main Street and within walking distance of shops, restaurants and offices.

“The Church Street property is a unique piece of Poughkeepsie’s history and is located within steps of some of the city’s most exciting planned development,” said City Administrator Marc Nelson. “Built by well-known local architect, Arnout Cannon Jr., the building is part of ‘Church Street Row,’ a group of buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. It is also designated a local historic landmark. We welcome innovative and exciting proposals that will combine historic preservation with a creative design and utility we can all be proud of.”

The city’s goals for the sites include maximizing both sites’ development potential, contributing to the vibrancy of the city’s Downtown District. Mixed-use development is preferred where possible.

Proposals are due in the City Chamberlain’s office at City Hall, First Floor, 62 Civic Center Plaza, Poughkeepsie NY, 12601, no later than 3 p.m. on Oct. 9. For more details and specifics about how to submit an application, click here.

Dutchess County City of Poughkeepsie Land Bank Approved by Empire State Development

Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro and City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison have announced the Empire State Development Corporation has approved the creation of a land bank by Dutchess County and the City of Poughkeepsie to return vacant, abandoned, and tax-delinquent properties in the community to productive use.

County Executive Molinaro said, “Too often properties that are abandoned and not maintained become a safety risk and discourage local businesses or families from moving into a neighborhood. These properties could, and should, be put to better use, and this land bank will be an important tool for transforming some of the blighted properties within the City of Poughkeepsie. We are grateful to the Empire State Development Corporation for their support of this opportunity and look forward to working collaboratively to redevelop these properties to better serve the community as a whole.”

City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison said, “The city has made great progress with its Anti-Blight Task Force, which was established in 2018 and has reduced the number of vacant properties from approximately 600 to under 270. The land bank should prove another valuable asset in these critically important efforts. We look forward to working with the county to reduce blight and foster positive redevelopment in our city.”

Under the New York State Land Bank Program, local municipalities can apply to create land bank not-for-profit corporations in their communities to acquire properties that are tax delinquent or foreclosed, vacant and/or abandoned, and help eliminate the harms and liabilities caused by such properties.

County and City officials, including representatives of the County Legislature and Common Council, as well as staff from the City and the County departments of Finance, Law, and Planning and Development, have been working for more than a year to develop the process to form a Dutchess County and City of Poughkeepsie Land Bank.

“After having worked with my colleagues in the common council for more than two years to bring a land bank to Poughkeepsie, I am overjoyed at the news today of the state’s approval,” said Council Member Sarah Brannen, a co-sponsor of the original resolution. “I’m grateful for everyone in the city, county, and among the local community who helped us reach this important milestone. I look forward to us taking the next step toward encouraging redevelopment and bringing vitality to our neighborhoods.”

Poughkeepsie City Council Chair, Sarah Salem, said, “Hard work and collaboration really does pay off. The Dutchess Poughkeepsie Land Bank will help to ensure that, as the City of Poughkeepsie recovers and grows, our community members will have access to affordable housing and be able to achieve homeownership, thereby building community wealth. County/City Land Bank models are relatively new, but they have been very successful across the state. I’m proud to see our application approved by New York State and proud of the work myself and my colleagues put into its development over the last year and a half.”

The land bank will have nine board members – two each appointed by the County Executive, County Legislature, Mayor and the Common Council – and one being a joint County and City appointee. The land bank board will hold an organizational meeting to discuss the adoption of by-laws, filing incorporation papers with the State, and staffing within the next two months. The County and City will then work collaboratively to identify properties to be transferred to the land bank.

For more information, contact the Dutchess County Department of Planning and Development at (845) 486-3600.

City of Poughkeepsie Bolsters Staff in Anticipation of Storm Response

The City of Poughkeepsie has been readying its response as Tropical Storm Isaias made landfall in anticipation of heavy rains and wind gusts in our area.

The city will have additional resources available to provide assistance today and tonight. Additional personnel have been assigned to the 911 Center in anticipation of a higher volume of calls.

The City’s Department of Public Works also will make additional personnel available, specifically tree crews and heavy-equipment operators. The DPW office will be staffed until at least 11 p.m. today to take storm-related calls at 845-451-4111. Non-emergency calls to the 911 center should go to 845-451-4000.

“I want to thank our city workers in advance for doing what is necessary during this storm,” said Mayor Rob Rolison. “I also encourage all residents to use caution and to stay inside and not travel if at all possible as this storm moves through our area.”

Poughkeepsie City Hall to Reopen to the Public on Thursday, June 25th

City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison announced today that City Hall will reopen to the public on Thursday, June 25th. New health and safety protocols will be in place to protect citizens and staff

  1. Some Departments will operate by appointment only, in order to assure social distancing is adhered to, and in order to ensure that members of the public may conduct their business swiftly, and spend as little time as possible in the building. Mayor Rolison said: “No one liked to wait in line even before the Coronavirus hit, and anything we can do to ensure our citizens get served promptly is job-one in the post-COVID world of public service.” City Administrator, Marc Nelson, said “the days of taking a number or standing around waiting one’s turn are over, and visitors to City Hall will be having an entirely better experience than they may have had in the past.”
  2. Face coverings will be required when conducting business at City Hall. Staff is required to wear a mask when interacting with customers, and at all times during the work-day when unable to practice social distancing, and when using elevators even if alone.
  3. Enhanced daily cleaning has been implemented as well as regular “deep cleaning” of City Hall, the Court and Police Department, including all public areas.
  4. Sanitizer stations have been positioned throughout the building for public use.
  5. Parking for citizens and visitors to City Hall will be free in the underground garage, which will be open from 8:00AM until 5:00PM, Monday through Friday.

No appointment is required to visit the City Cashier, Parking Division, or City Chamberlain, all located on the ground floor, however the public is strongly encouraged to make payment for all city services by mail, or online, or to use the drop-box located in front of entrance to the police department on the north side of City Hall.

City Hall Hours of Operation: 8:30am to 4:30pm, Monday-Friday

Appointment Necessary

  • Building Inspector
  • Code Enforcement Officers
  • Economic & Community Development
  • City Assessor
  • Planning & Zoning

No Appointment Necessary

  • Cashier – Tax, Water, Sewer & Sanitation
  • City Chamberlain (except for marriage licenses)
  • Parking Enforcement & Permits
  • Mayor, City Administrator
  • Community Engagement

Appointments may be made online at:

Payments should be made via the city website: or by mail to: 62 Civic Center Plaza, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. 12601, or by using the drop box near the front door of the Police Station on Mansion Street.

Residents may contact city staff and officials by phone, and a contact list is available at

City Providing Coronavirus Updates, Creates Resource Guide

The City of Poughkeepsie is continually updating the public on information pertaining to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and has created a resource guide. The city’s coronavirus webpage includes information from federal, state and Dutchess County resources, in addition to informing the public about how to contact city departments during this time. Information ranging from health and food distribution to aid for businesses and nonprofits can be found on the webpage at