Town, state and county officials celebrated the opening of the Kings Highway Corridor Infrastructure Improvement Project, a $5 million installation of water and sewer services along 3.4 miles of that road on Friday, March 4 town officials hope will spur economic development in that area.
Congressman Maurice Hinchey congratulated Town Supervisor Greg Helsmoortel, saying “we have talked about this 10 years ago, and then we began to find the money.” Hinchey thanked state Senator John Bonacic for his involvement, noting that while Hinchey is a Democrat and Bonacic a Republican, “John and I work effectively together on a lot of things.”
Bonacic thanked the town for its “vision,” Hinchey for “being a good partner,” and County Executive Michael Hein for “bringing in help for small business. This three-mile strip is shovel ready, and as the economy gets better and as Mike Hein gets inquiries, he can refer them to this three mile strip.”
Hein pointed to the project as “an example of what happens when governments work together,” and predicted that “we are ready to compete in a global market.”
Bonacic said the state’s business plan is to have as many shovel-ready sites as possible, as businesses want to be able to build quickly once they select and purchase a site. Having much of the preliminary work completed helps to attract new business, he said, and “Kings Highway is a model of how it can be done.
Stone Pony owner John Livermore said he has owned the store for 10 years, and one reason he bought it was the promise of municipal water and sewer services. “This will definitely enhance the value of this property,” he said.
The project serves about 25 existing businesses and 20 homes along Kings Highway, and officials say they expect it to attract additional businesses on Kings Highway.
The project was funded through federal grants totaling approximately $2.5 million, state funding of $1.5 million and a county contribution of $1 million through the Shovel Ready Fund.