State Assembly approves increased funding for several area organizations and attractions – Daily Freeman
KINGSTON, NY – The State Assembly has approved funding for a number of local organizations and attractions in the 2022-2023 state budget.
The funding includes $1.5 million for the state-run Belleayre Mountain Ski Center in Highmount for facility upgrades and lift repairs.
A press release from the office of Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, D-Kingston, said the funds will ensure that “Belleayre remains a premier Catskill recreation area, acting as a driver of tourism and a boon to the ‘regional economy’.
Among other local initiatives:
• SUNY New Paltz Benjamin Center received $145,000. The release notes that the research institution is helping to create a “relationship among expert faculty, nonprofits, businesses, and government across the state to advance the public interest and bring visibility to important local issues”.
The center is also helping area school districts acquire next-generation STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning equipment through the Science Lab initiative, Cahill’s office said.
• The Maurice D. Hinchey Catskills Visitor Center on State Road 28 in Mount Tremper will receive $150,000. The statement said it will help the visitor center continue to provide “locals and tourists with the information needed to safely recreate in the Catskills and hosts educational programs about the flora, fauna and ecological health of the Catskills. our open spaces”.
• The Cary Institute, based in Dutchess County, received $100,000, which it will use to fund studies of the ecological health of the area and hold educational presentations about our local environment.
Cahill’s office said the area will also receive additional funding for statewide programs, such as a $1.25 million increase in the Public Utilities Bill (PULP) for continue its advocacy in favor of consumers of public services.
According to Cahill’s office, PULP protects families from utility cuts, denial of service and other unscrupulous practices and advocates for reduced gas and electric rates for low-income consumers.
The funds come as Central Hudson’s billing practices and the utility’s handling of the February ice storm are probed by the state’s Civil Service Commission.
A Senate committee headed by State Senator James Skoufis, D-Cornwall, is also investigating rising electricity bills.
“Over the past few months, PULP has been instrumental in helping our communities and shared neighbors address a host of issues related to utility supply costs and billing practices,” Cahill’s office said.
• Agribusiness Child Development (ABCD), with offices in New Paltz and Kingston, will use its $13,500,000 to further its mission of providing quality child care and early education for infants and young children of agricultural workers in statewide, according to the statement.