Orange County Partnership - News

Searching for Solutions for a Sick Economy

One of the joys of my job is to provide meaningful information to our members that result in opportunity, savings and/or profit. During these challenging times when the pandemic has created monumental financial disruptions to our economy, the Partnership has teamed up with the Co-chairs of the Alliance for Balanced Growth to offer guidance and suggestions to our municipal leaders. 

Municipalities have been particularly hard hit from COVID-19 as sales tax generation has dramatically declined and many residents have lost their jobs. Budget cuts and downsizing of departments is an everyday discussion item on meeting agendas in response to declining tax revenues. With the added threat that the state will withhold 20% of funding to schools, local governments and hospitals if it does not receive further aid from the federal government, municipalities are now being forced to creatively attempt to make up for these potentially debilitating fiscal shortfalls.

On September 24th, at 9:00 am, the Alliance for Balanced Growth (ABG) will be discussing the major issues that municipalities face, and with the help of a number of experts, will make presentations that will offer municipalities workable solutions to the economic hardships ahead. An added benefit is the ABG is opening up the virtual session to Planning Board Members, municipal leaders and anyone who is searching for solutions.

The program will begin by illustrating how localities can increase tax rateables that will generate revenue in-perpetuity. It’s important to note that the pandemic has created a need in the marketplace, bringing developers and corporations to Orange County to site valuable projects. Thousands of jobs and millions in taxes will follow, but only with cooperation from towns, villages and cities. We have to act quickly because the competition is intense and companies will go to where they are wanted. There is a cost to inaction and the delay of projects and our quality of life is at stake.

Topic items and experts include (but are not limited to):

ABG Co-Chair Andrew Fetherston, a principal of Maser Consulting, who will cover zoning issues and the finer points of the local planning process.

Mike Turturro, a partner with RBT CPAS, LLP, and Brian Flynn, a partner with PKF O'Connor Davies, LLP, will provide an accounting perspective on economic development and municipal finance issues and possible solutions.

Alan Seidman, executive director of the Construction Contractors Association, will offer an overview of the recently launched “BrighterHV” marketing initiative, illustrating the value of economic stability through job creation. 

County Executive Steve Neuhaus will update us on the RFPs on several prominent Orange County properties and the many resources available through the county that local municipalities can take advantage of.    

John Lavelle, a veteran commercial broker with Rand Commercial, will MC the event and weave in his insights on the commercial real estate market.   

All in all, we have a very powerful lineup that is guaranteed to provide support and guidance in these troubling times. In closing, the good news is this is only the first of a series of fall events that the Partnership and the Alliance will provide for our Investors., so stay tuned for further exciting updates.

For further information on the meeting, contact the Orange County Partnership at (845) 294-2323.

The Alliance for Balanced Growth is a cooperative effort between area developers, landowners, commercial real estate professionals, engineers, land-use attorneys, construction services and the Orange County Partnership. Their mission is straightforward -- to present a strong, unified voice for responsible development in Orange County.