|Dear e-News Reader:
I’m wondering happened to August? Time seems to fly by every Summer, as events and activities ramp up. Fall is in the air and I’m busier than usual with special projects, announcements, and meetings to attend. Please keep my office in mind if you have any questions or concerns you would like to discuss.
Best wishes to all,
1. Speaker Heastie Visits BOCES for Trades Complex Announcement
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie joined me to announce a $1.3M grant for
Broome-Tioga BOCES. The funding will go toward developing a Trades Complex on the BOCES campus. The complex will be used to train heavy equipment operators, truck drivers, electricians, carpenters and masons. Because the need for individuals skilled in the trades grows every day, this new complex is welcome news to many local businesses and trade organizations. For more information: https://nyassembly.gov/Press/?sec=story&story=103492
2. Chamber Holds Press Conference on Unemployment Insurance
As I highlighted in last month’s E-News, the state began charging businesses a surcharge to help pay down the over $8 billion Unemployment Trust Fund federal loan taken out during the pandemic. I joined the Greater Binghamton Chamber, local businesses, and colleagues to discuss the looming “Interest Assessment Surcharge” and to call for action. I will continue to advocate on behalf of the many businesses who are struggling to cover these additional expenses.
3. Dicks Sporting Goods to Open Largest Store at Oakdale Commons
Endicott once again welcomed thousands of visitors and golfers for the annual Dicks Sporting Goods Open at En-Joie Golf Course. During the tournament, I joined representatives from Dicks Sporting Goods, owners of Oakdale Commons, and elected officials to announce that Dicks will be building a flagship store, the biggest in the US, at the site of the former Macy’s. The multi-level “House of Sport” will feature a rock climbing wall, batting cages, and an outdoor turf field which can be converted into an ice rink during the winter months. It’s a relief to see the mall coming back to life; expect more developments to be announced over the coming months.
4. Serling Statue Closer to Reality
During the closing event of the annual SerlingFest, I joined the Rod Serling Memorial Foundation to announce a $50,000 grant to help pay for a long overdue statue of Rod Serling. The statue will be placed in Recreation Park, which was featured in the Twilight Zone episode “Walking Distance.” Rec Park was also within walking distance of Serling’s boyhood home on Bennett Avenue. I am hopeful that this is just the beginning of a much bigger celebration of Rod Serling; one of the most influential figures of our time.
5. VINES Receives Support for Urban Gardens
During a visit to the Volunteers Improving Neighborhood Environments (VINES) Urban Farm on Susquehanna Street in Binghamton, I announced $125,000 in funding to support the organization; $75,000 from the 2022 state budget, and $50,000 from 2021. I was able to include these funds in the Agriculture section of the budget plan. The funds support their Farm Share and Grow Binghamton Youth Programs, along with over 20 Community Gardens. Urban farming is fast becoming a local point of pride and a learning opportunity for people of all ages. If you would like to learn more about VINES, you can visit their website.
6. EXTRA: “We Can No Longer Take Ambulance Service for Granted”
Assemblyman Joe Angelino and I wrote a guest viewpoint in the Press & Sun-Bulletin on the growing shortage of ambulances across the state.
To read the viewpoint.