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ACTION!! Let’s attract cluster development to Putnam County!

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Bringing Industry Clusters to Putnam

As mentioned several times in my weekly column in the Putnam County Courrier, an industry task force is meeting and beginning to share its thoughts with us on possibilities for future industry development in Putnam County, aimed at providing good jobs, lower taxes and a higher quality of life for all.

Some ideas are pretty obvious – arts, culture, tourism and commercial recreation.   Cold Spring and Garrison’s famous homes, antique shops and artisans are a well-known attraction for people coming up from the City for a getaway.   Lake Mahopac is the closest lake to NYC for boat rentals.  Thunder Ridge offers local skiing opportunities, and Brewster Ice Arena has figure skating, hockey, a gym and on-premise restaurant.  Perhaps we can bring go-kart racing or indoor Grand Prix cars into the mix, plus other forms of recreation to create a year-round playground for visitors.  With the picturesque countryside making an ideal movie backdrop for many films, media outlets may find Putnam appealing as well.

More challenging concepts may provide broader opportunities: technology companies for example, given our close proximity to the great Tech Valley exploding to our north.  Companies like IBM straddle our borders, and other big names are moving into New York State.  Perhaps we can get a piece of the action.  Another idea is health care business support.  Medicine is big business these days, and our region is known as New York’s BioHud Valley.  Can we build around Health Quest’s expanding network, plus Hudson Valley Hospital Center and others, bringing biotech jobs to Putnam County?

If you are a member of any of the Chambers of Commerce in our county, especially in Brewster and Putnam Valley which don’t have task force members, please consider participating in this dialog.  Also, financial and education partners need to be assembled to implement this vision.  A lot of work needs to be done, but we are up to the challenge.

-Jennifer Maher, Chairwoman, Putnam County Chambers of Commerce