CHESTER, N.Y. (Sept. 26, 2013) – Steve Neuhaus, candidate for Orange County Executive, today introduced his economic development strategy for Orange County. The plan, START Orange County, is composed of five priorities meant to foster an environment for economic growth and encourage partnerships with the community and leading local/regional economic development organizations.
The Neuhaus START Orange County initiative includes five major strategies, each representing a letter of the START acronym.
1. Shovel ready. To fully harness job creation and new tax ratable opportunities, Neuhaus, as County Executive, will lead an initiative to increase and prioritize Orange County’s portfolio of shovel-ready sites. By partnering with the Orange County Industrial Development Agency and Orange County Partnership, Neuhaus plans to implement a comprehensive plan to fast-track and promote these sites within the county. He will collaborate with the governments of cities, towns and villages and industrial development agencies to cultivate a larger, more diverse arsenal for corporate attraction efforts. Neuhaus will also seek to work with host municipalities to provide a more streamlined approval process with projects meeting the planned criteria for a shovel-ready site. These strategies will provide an edge for Orange County in a highly-competitive corporate attraction environment.
2. Team up with our communities. Under Neuhaus’ plan, Orange County will become a stronger partner to its communities. This includes respecting local zoning laws and following comprehensive plans developed by its cities, towns and villages. At the same time, Neuhaus plans to collaborate with communities seeking strategies to attract more jobs and investment, including lending the advice and assets of the County Planning Department. Neuhaus will work in tandem with the communities of Orange County to achieve economic development goals, making the needs and wishes of each individual community a priority. Within 30 days of taking office, Neuhaus will hold the first START Orange County Summit to bring together all of the municipal, community and business leaders involved in Orange County economic development to develop a plan with the aggressive goal of reaching 1,000 new full-time jobs in 1,000 days.
3. Agriculture. Orange County Government will enhance farm-to-market efforts by utilizing its indoor public spaces to create year round weekend farmers’ markets and coordinating transportation for local food products to New York City, and other major markets, through collaboration with the agricultural community. In addition, the County will seize every opportunity to be an advocate for flood control. As is being done by neighboring Ulster County, Neuhaus will hold the feet to the fire of agencies, like the DEC, that can do more to manage devastating flooding in Orange County. This plan will encourage the growth of the agricultural industry, an integral component of the County’s overall economic stability and development. Neuhaus also pledged to provide funding to combat flooding near the Wallkill River. Neuhaus noted, “Senator Bonacic delivered $2 million to combat flooding. The County needs to join the fight with an annual funding commitment.”
4. Reward performance, not promises. As Orange County Executive, Neuhaus will urge that hiring minimums be enforced for every organization that receives a corresponding tax exemption from the Industrial Development Agency. This will ensure that tax breaks require accountability. Neuhaus will also seek minimum commitments on hiring local for all tax exemptions.
5. Tout existing businesses. For Orange County’s economic health, promoting existing businesses in Orange County is just as important as attracting new companies. In this vein, Neuhaus will ensure the County financially supports organizations assigned to promote existing businesses and ensure coordination. In addition, Neuhaus will foster relationships between large and small businesses in the community. As has been evident with the closure of the government center, when a large employer closes and moves, the surrounding small businesses suffer. Neuhaus believes government can have a more pro-active role in nurturing the growth and collaboration between employers of various sizes in each community. This is equally applicable to supporting Governor Cuomo’s StartUp NY initiative, which can foster entrepreneurship and create jobs when we combine the economic development efforts of the County, SUNY Orange and the Orange County Business Accelerator. Working together the region can maximize the potential for uncovering the next major homegrown Orange County employer, such as Continental Organics.
For more information on Neuhaus’ START Orange County initiative for economic development in Orange County, please call 845-610-5214 or email info@SteveNeuhaus.com.
ABOUT STEVE NEUHAUS:
In addition to his role as Supervisor in the Town of Chester, Neuhaus is currently the Vice President of the Orange County Association of Town Supervisors and Mayors. He is a founding board member and served as Chairman of the Families of War Veterans Committee, is an Officer in the Navy Reserves and has served on the Board of Directors for the Orange County Land Trust.