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Operator must do better by Dutchess County Airport

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Dutchess County Airport is second busiest General Aviation (GA) airport in New York State, logging approximately 75,000 aircraft landings and take offs each year, including corporate aviation, charter operators, recreational fliers and business aircraft owners.  The airport brings Dutchess County over 60 million dollars in economic activity each year

Six months ago, the county sought a partner who could help us move forward with our efforts to increase the economic benefit of the Airport. The County contracted with Flight Level Aviation in that regard.  Since then, fuel prices have risen despite their promise to keep them low and knowing very well fuel costs affect the airports viability. Last month, the County Legislature approved a proposal by the County Executive and FlightLevel Aviation (the new fixed base operator) to reduce their hours.

While I agree that there is “insufficient activity after 8pm” at the airport – there will never be an increase in activity after 8pm unless the FBO is open to accept aircraft. This is a self-defeating proposal.  I was, however, willing to compromise with having the FBO close early during the winter months only, and if they had a problem in the spring, summer or fall, they could come back to us so we can discuss it further.  That amendment failed.

FlightLevel Aviation was brought here to improve the airport and the services offered.  By saying that in the past there has been little traffic after a certain hour – they are pretty much offering only to maintain the status quo or less.   Reducing the total number of hours that Dutchess County Airport’s FBO is open to both based and transient clients is inconsistent with the County’s stated objectives and asking operators to pay for off-hours services after 7:00 pm will make KPOU less competitive and desirable relative to other local airports for business aviation operators.

The county executive said if there’s an increase in demand, FlightLevel will make the necessary changes to meet those needs. How will we ever know if that demand increases, when the FBO is closed and aircraft avoid our airport?

I understand having FlightLevel Aviation is important to the success of the airport.  However, they signed a contract – in which they clearly knew what the circumstances were – and now so soon trying to change it. They raised the fuel prices and now their changing their hours.  Changes in fuel prices have everything to do with this resolution because it has to do with change no one expected.  What will they change next? Reducing the minimum operating standards is not something I feel is in the best long term interest of the airport.  This sets a bad precedent.

 

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Legislative Report for Jan. 21, 2015

Legislative Report for August 14, 2014

Activities:  Attended the Democratic Caucus meeting.  Met with an advocate who works with reentry.  Responded to calls and emails regarding a number of local issues, including, but not limited to the county jail; agriculture; the county airport; economic development and the lack of good quality jobs; public safety issues; and upcoming community events.  Managed website and social media content.

Dutchess County Jail – Project Timeline

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Dutchess County Jail – Justice and Transition Center (JTC) Project Timeline

January 21st – Legislative Committee Meeting

  • Committee vote on resolution CA-144-15, Declaration of County as Lead Agency

January 25th – Legislative Board Meeting

  • Full Board vote on resolution CA-144-15, Declaration of County as Lead Agency

January 27th – State of the County Address

February 4th – Legislative Committee Meeting

  • Presentation on JTC Bond and Project (Draft on S: Drive) – Public Works & Capital Projects Committee, limited time allotted for questions
  • Following Presentation – Lay JTC Bond on desks
  • Chazen to present on SEQR – Environmental Committee, limited time allotted for questions (Noel to provide copy of presentation)
  • Following Presentation – Distribution of SEQR Documents to the Legislature (Two hard copies, plus electronic)

February 4th or 5th – Request for Proposal for Architect to be issued

February 8th – Legislative Board Meeting

February 16th – External Advisory Group Meeting – Catharine Street Center, Poughkeepsie

February 17th – County Executive Town Hall Forum – LaGrange

February 24th – County Executive Town Hall Forum – Amenia

February 29th – Legislative Committee of the Whole Meeting

  • Meeting to discuss and answer questions regarding JTC bond resolution and SEQR resolution

March 3rd – County Executive Town Hall Forum – Hyde Park

March 10th– Legislative Committee Meeting

  • Committee vote on resolution CA-145-15, SEQR Environmental Review
  • Committee to vote on JTC Bond

March 14th – Legislative Board Meeting

March 21st – Meeting of the Whole

  • Full Board vote on resolution CA-145-15, SEQR Environmental Review
  • Full Board to vote on JTC Bond

 

Legislative Report for Dec. 10, 2015

Legislative Report for August 14, 2014

Activities:  Continued my review of the 2016 Proposed County Budget and conducted research pertaining to the resolution reducing the hours of Dutchess County Airport operations.  Attended the Board Meeting regarding the same.  Addressed some commuter concerns regarding the MTA and parking tickets being issued at the New Hamburg Train Station by the Town of Poughkeepsie Police Department.  Responded to calls and emails regarding the airport; the fight for increase in wages; criminal justice reform and our mental health crisis; economic development; family services and affordable housing; the 2016 County Budget; the Wappinger FEMA LOMR Application; and upcoming community events.

Bills: Voted against the 2016 Proposed County Budget and the resolution  reducing the hours of Dutchess County Airport operations.

Legislative Report for Dec. 3, 2015

Legislative Report for August 14, 2014

Activities:  Attended the Public Hearing on the Proposed 2016 County Budget.  Continued reviewing the 2016 Proposed County Budget.  Made numerous calls and conducted research pertaining to the resolution reducing the hours of Dutchess County Airport operations which is on the December county legislative agenda.  Also participated in the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA meeting and handled some commuter concerns regarding the MTA and parking tickets being issued at the New Hamburg Train Station by the Town of Poughkeepsie Police Department. Responded to calls and emails regarding the timbering in Wilcox Park; the fight for increase in wages; criminal justice reform and our mental health crisis; economic development; family services and affordable housing; the 2016 County Budget; the Wappinger FEMA LOMR Application; and upcoming community events.

Thanking Our Veterans

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Today, we honor and thank our veterans who answered the call of duty to preserve our nation’s freedom and protect our citizens.  We also pay tribute to military families who have made extraordinary sacrifices supporting our service members as they put their lives on the line to defend our values and protect our state and nation.  Please join me this Veterans Day in honoring our veterans, our active duty and reserve service members, and their families.

Sincerely,
Dutchess County Legislator Francena Amparo

 

Amparo has served Wappinger residents well as legislator

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Please read another letter to the editor regarding my work as your County Legislator.

I am writing in support of Dutchess County Legislator Francena Amparo, District 14.  Before being placed into a high-risk flood zone by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in 2013, I had no real interest in local politics. This new mapping, however, included a mandatory insurance premium even though my home does not border any water and FEMA has never been to my neighborhood to actually view the area.

Luckily, Legislator Amparo understood the unfairness of this to me, as well more than 200 other Wappinger residents. She organized meetings, attended town and resident gatherings and spent hours following up on all possible assistance. Due to her efforts and those of U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, my town has unanimously agreed to apply for a letter of map revision for my neighborhood.

We already have heard that five out of seven of our homes have been removed from the costly floodplain. Amparo’s work ethic and concern for residents has saved thousands of dollars for those who were removed, and gained many back the equity in their homes. Thank goodness there are politicians like Francena Amparo out there who genuinely care about fairness for absolute strangers in Wappinger.

Francena was a stranger not long ago, but is now a friend and hero to myself and many others. She attends every local event possible and has boundless energy. She has definitely earned my vote for District 14 county legislator.

Elizabeth Satterlee
Wappingers Falls

http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/opinion/letters/2015/11/01/letters-editor/75005396/