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Keeping Legislative Priorities at the Forefront

The Putnam County Chamber of Commerce continues to focus its efforts on reducing the burdens placed on our small businesses, and also reducing the cost of conducting business wherever possible.  This involves advocacy at the local, State and even Federal level.

There is still a great need for countywide planning with an emphasis on basic infrastructure. A Master Plan still needs to be developed, encompassing the local municipalities for a total look at where we are and what we plan for the future.  We urge our municipalities to adopt business-friendly attitudes regarding zoning and signage. Additional and thriving businesses will grow our county’s sales tax revenue and a reduction of the tax, to dispel the perception of Putnam as having the highest shopping cost.  The renegotiation of the Watershed Agreement and reorganization of our County’s Economic Development team should be seen as common sense steps toward better efficiency.

State mandates continue to be very burdensome, and we need relief from the constraints on our municipalities and school districts that limit their flexibility to provide the necessary services in ways appropriate for their constituents.  This might allow for creative approaches that serve better at lower cost.  Simply put – our taxes are driving businesses out of New York.  New York must also repeal outdated laws and regulations like the Wicks Law and the Scaffold Law, and the SEQRA process and Workers Comp guidelines need to be reformed or eliminated.

We need energy too – we seek new, “green” sources of energy but as a matter of practicality, it’s time to get the Indian Point relicensing approved and Spectra Gas Line renovations built while we get realistic alternative energy sources developed.  Windmills and the hope of conservation won’t get us through the next decade or two, but smartly planned conventional power plants, pipelines and transmission systems will help relieve pressure on our energy infrastructure and allow new sources of power to develop naturally.

– Jennifer Maher, Chairwoman, the Putnam County Chamber of Commerce

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