Dutchess Stadium gets funding boost from county legislature

POUGHKEEPSIE — The Dutchess County Legislature prioritized investments in recreation and municipal services as well as grant opportunities for youth programs when it passed the 2023 county budget on Thursday, Dec. 8, by a vote of 18-7.

The largest expenditure was a $25 million fund transfer to the Capital Project Fund to finance improvements to Dutchess Stadium in Wappingers Falls, according to a press release. The budget totals nearly $588 million.

A number of town hall forums preceded the adoption of the budget, and residents were given the opportunity to communicate with County Executive Marc Molinaro to learn budget details and put forth questions and feedback.

Amendments made by legislators included $1.2 million for the Department of Planning and Development’s Competitive Grant Program, with $1 million going to not-for-profit infrastructure grants and $200,00 to youth programming for at-risk teens, respite and parenting programs; an increase of $500,000 to fire, safety and law enforcement grant opportunities for the Department of Planning and Development; a $200,000 increase for the Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet of the Department of Community and Family Services’ Youth Administration Division; and $150,000 to expand the Office for the Aging’s community outreach.

Other increases were also made, such as $60,000 for the Department of Public Works’ Public Transit Division to construct an additional bus shelter in Pleasant Valley, with another $60,000 to support the project; $50,000 for the Department of Emergency Response to improve public internet access at libraries and other civic buildings; $50,000 for the Path to Promise grant program of the Department of Community and Family Services’ Youth Services Division; $50,000 for recruitment and equipment for the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office Law Enforcement Academy; and $25,000 for the Dutchess County SPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement Program by the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office.

Legislator Michael Polasek, chair of the Budget, Finance, and Personnel Committee commented in a press release: “This improvement funding package will help the Dutchess Stadium to continue serving our residents well, bringing a substantial revenue stream from many different sources.”

He cited sales tax income from those who do business at the stadium, and spending on hotels, restaurants, and local businesses by those using the stadium.

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