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Gov. Andrew Cuomo Awards Mt. Vernon $1,600,000 to Repair Sewers, $500,000 to Revitalize Memorial Field, and $40,000 for Arts and Culture

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Mount Vernon – Mayor Richard W. Thomas is pleased the announce in a statement, Thursday evening, that the City of Mount Vernon was awarded over $2,000,000 in today’s Regional Economic Development Council ceremony.

Mount Vernon was awarded $1,641,928 to investigate and repair the city’s aging sewer infrastructure. The city also received $520,000 for the redevelopment of Memorial Field and $40,000 for an arts and cultural master plan to develop and support creative works.

“New York State has joined the team to move Mount Vernon forward,” Mayor Thomas says in his statement. “We are so thankful to Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Regional Economic Development Council for listening to us and recognizing how important it is for Mount Vernon to restore Memorial Field, repair our sewers and keep our reputation as the birthplace of arts, music, and culture.”

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that more than $700 million in economic and community development funding has been awarded through Round VI of the Regional Economic Development Council initiative.

A centerpiece of the Governor’s strategy to jumpstart the economy and create jobs, the Regional Councils were established in 2011 to replace the state’s old top-down approach to economic development, with one that is community-based and performance-driven. The initiative empowers community, business, and academic leaders, as well as members of the public in each region of the state, to develop strategic plans specifically tailored to their region’s unique strengths and resources in order to create jobs, improve quality of life and grow the economy.

“Through the Regional Economic Development Councils, we have replaced the ‘one-size fits all’ approach to economic growth with a ‘ground-up’ strategy that focuses on cooperation and investing in regional assets to generate opportunity,” Governor Cuomo said. “By bringing together ideas from local government and community leaders with state resources, we are giving these councils the tools to create jobs and drive economic activity in their communities for generations to come. I congratulate the Regional Councils on their awards, and look forward to continuing to work together to build a stronger New York for all.”

Mayor Thomas goes on to thank members of his administration in his statement starting with his DPW Commissioner:

“I couldn’t be more grateful for our team,” Mayor Thomas said. “Commissioner Ralph Uzzi has brought in millions for the city, plowed record amounts of snow, and got the tennis bubble up at Memorial Field under tremendous constraints. His work ethic and skill-set are unmatched and I am so grateful to him and the entire Department of Public Works. Mount Vernon’s ‘muscle’ was recognized today.”

He continues to speak on the attributes of his Planning Commissioner;

“Commissioner Shawyn Patterson Howard is a dynamic change agent and her love for the people of Mount Vernon shines in everything she does. We are thankful to her and our small but mighty team in the Department of Planning and Community Development for putting in the extra hours and dedication to bring back Memorial Field and give arts and culture room to grow and thrive.”

Lastly Mayor Thomas thanks other elected officials who have rallied for Mount Vernon;

“I want to also extend my thanks to Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, Senator Jeff Klein, former Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson and Senator-elect Jamaal Bailey for their tireless advocacy on behalf of our city. Thank you to all who have helped Mount Vernon. Despite the challenges, I pledge to continue to work hard on your behalf, to do more with less, and to move Mount Vernon forward.”

The $2 million dollars awarded to the City of Mount Vernon was part of the $83.3 million supporting 105 projects awarded to the Mid-Hudson region. Highlights of the projects awarded economic development funding in Round VI include:

$3 million to support LEGOLAND
LEGOLAND will consist of a theme park and resort in the Town of Goshen. The park will include rides and attractions, an aquarium, theaters, educational facilities, restaurants, a hotel and various facilities including offices and staff areas as well as associated parking and drainage facilities. Educational facilities and programs are also included to attract strong school visitation.

$2.6 million to support Star Kay White’s expansion of manufacturing operations
Star Kay White, a 126 year old New York State company, is building a new manufacturing facility in the Warwick Valley Office and Technology Park. The project will upgrade their infrastructure, technology and equipment, making their manufacturing processes more efficient and better able to meet their customer’s needs.

$1 million to support RUPCO’s Stockade Works Project in Kingston
RUPCO, Inc.’s planned redevelopment of a defunct factory in Kingston, Ulster County, will allow the site to be repurposed for an anchor tenant in the film and television industry. Included will be training space for film and TV production; a post-production studio, and a maker’s space for entrepreneurs.

$500,000 to support the Sing Sing Prison Museum
The Sing Sing Historic Prison Museum will build a first-rate educational and historical museum at the site of the existing operating correctional facility, using the 1936 Prison Power House to house the museum, with access to the original 1825 Cellblock.

About the Regional Economic Development Councils
The Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative is a key component of Governor Cuomo’s approach to State investment and economic development. In 2011, Governor Cuomo established 10 Regional Councils to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth for their regions. The Councils are public-private partnerships made up of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government, and non-governmental organizations. The Regional Councils have redefined the way New York invests in jobs and economic growth by putting in place a community-based, bottom up approach and establishing a competitive process for State resources.

After six rounds of the REDC process, more than $4.6 billion has been awarded to more than 5,200 job creation and community development projects consistent with each regions strategic plans, projecting to create and retain more than 210,000 jobs. For more information on the Regional Councils, visit

AJ Woodson

AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company, Host & Producer of the People Before Politics Radio Show. AJ is a Father, Brother, An Author, Journalism Fellow (Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism), Hip-Hop Artist - one third of the legendary underground rap group JVC FORCE known for the single Strong Island, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian, Documentarian, Activist, Criminal Justice Advocate and Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale,,, Rolling Out Newspaper, Daily Challenge Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine, Word Up! Magazine, On The Go Magazine and several others.

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