County Executive Odell Points to Bright Future
John Jordan | July 2015
MAHOPAC—Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell said her administration continues to make headway into bringing new development to the “County of Main Streets.”
Odell, the keynote speaker at the June 25th meeting of the Commercial Investment Division of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, said she is bullish on the future of the county. She also expressed pride in the fact that county resident and former New York Governor George Pataki is a candidate for the Republican nomination for President of the United States. To help in the campaign, Putnam County Director of Tourism Libby Pataki has recently taken an unpaid leave of absence from her post.
She also revealed that the Putnam Economic Development Corp. is currently reviewing candidates to replace Meghan Taylor, the former president of the PEDC who earlier this year was named regional director for the Mid-Hudson Region for the New York State Economic Development Corp. A replacement is expected to be named in two months, she said at the event held at the Putnam County Golf Club.
Among some of the recent initiatives undertaken by the county have included providing assistance for the Federal Hockey League’s Stateline Whalers’ decision to play their home games at the Brewster Ice Arena. She said that county now can boast a sports franchise to call its own similar to Westchester County, which has the D-League Westchester Knicks play at the County Center and Dutchess County, which is home to the Hudson Valley Renegades minor league baseball team.
Odell also said that the county is working on its Consolidated Funding Applications for state economic development monies. She said the county is looking to secure funding for necessary water and sewer infrastructure projects that will foster new development. The county’s top priority is promoting its Main Streets, Odell related.
She revealed that Putnam County is in discussions with the City of Danbury, CT to tap into that city’s excess water supply and to bring sewer service over the state line to sections of Danbury Road in Brewster. Odell said she has held discussions with Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton concerning the city’s excess one million gallons per day water capacity. The initiative if advanced would require federal approval. The cost of the connection would be approximately $6 million.
Odell said that the Danbury Road area is ripe for commercial development. “Right now there are half-built structures, there are vacant parcels, there are zoning board application boards posted to the left and to the right of it and up and down the road,” she said in response to those who are opposed to further commercial development on Route 6. She asked CID attendees to support the administration’s proposal to build a hookup to the Danbury water and sewer lines.
“The road is not a scenic road, it was never designated as a scenic road,” she said. “It is a commercially zoned road, period.”
Odell then briefed the CID gathering on the start of construction of the ButterfieldHospital redevelopment project in Cold Spring that will include the Roger Ailes Senior Center. (See story on the groundbreaking of that project on page 22 in this edition of Real Estate In-Depth).
She praised both developer Paul Gauillaro, as well as Roger Aisles and his wife Elizabeth who are donating $500,000 for the senior center, which will significantly upgrade services to seniors in the area.
Odell also noted that the county will be looking for funding for improvements in the Route 6 Mahopac area where she noted the business district is struggling. In that area as well, the county will be looking to expand sewer and water services, she noted. Odell said that many of the businesses in the Route 6 Mahopac area are storage businesses. She theorized that is because storage businesses do not require sewer and water services to operate. Also in the Mahopac area, she said that the county transportation system is looking to take advantage of Mahopac’s emerging “Restaurant Row” and bring more county residents to the area.
Sponsors of the CID program were: Tompkins/Mahopac National Bank, John J. Lease Realtors, MetLife, Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union and J. Phillip Commercial Group.