SCHUMER REVEALS: STEWART AIRPORT AND SURROUNDING BUSINESSES’ 80 YEAR-OLD WATER & SEWAGE MAINS ARE SEVERELY OUTDATED AND PREVENTING LONG OVERDUE JOB-CREATION & AIRPORT EXPANSION PROJECTS; SENATOR WILL LAUNCH A MAJOR PUSH TO SECURE MILLIONS IN FED FUNDING TO OVERHAUL CRITICAL WATER & SEWAGE MAINS PAVING WAY FOR NEW JOBS & MORE FLIGHTS TO STEWART
Federal Investment Will Allow Airport & Orange County To Attract New Commercial Tenants, Accommodate More Personal & Commercial Aircraft, Expand Cargo Space, Add 35,000 Sq. Ft of Terminal Space
Schumer To EDA: Green-Light Fed Funds That Will Transform Stewart For Take-Off
Standing at Stewart International Airport, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today launched a major push to secure more than $4 million in federal funding for Stewart International Airport and several major employers, including Inbev, FedEx and many others. Specifically, Schumer pushed the federal Economic Development Administration (EDA) to approve funding that would allow the Town of New Windsor, in partnership with Stewart International Airport and the surrounding business community to make critical water and sewer infrastructure upgrades. Currently, Stewart’s water and sewer infrastructure is roughly 80 years old, and Schumer said this outdated infrastructure is hindering the airport’s ability to expand and increase economic development opportunities.
“Stewart International Airport has invested millions to improve its facilities and add flights so it can increase passenger and commercial traffic tenfold by 2025. But in order to make this a reality, the airport’s ancient water and sewer infrastructure desperately needs to be overhauled. Making critical upgrades to this system will not only allow the airport to continue its own expansion, but also help bring new businesses and economic opportunities to the area. There are hotels, business incubators and companies currently chomping at the bit to develop the land around Stewart – and this water infrastructure project is the linchpin in their efforts,” said Schumer. “I’m urging the EDA to green-light these federal funds as soon as possible so this transformative project can take off.”
Schumer explained that Stewart Airport spurs a great amount of economic activity to Orange County and the entire greater Hudson Valley region. According to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Stewart employs approximately 2,700 people in the area and contributes roughly $450 million in economic activity to the region, generating 3,300 total jobs and more than $160 million in annual wages and salaries. However, while Stewart Airport has a strong impact on the entire Hudson Valley Region, only one municipality, the Town of New Windsor, is chiefly responsible for its costly infrastructure needs. As a result, New Windsor is seeking federal funds to help it make long-overdue water and sewer infrastructure upgrades.
Schumer explained that sections of the current water system are more than 50 and 80 years old, and in desperate need of an update. According to the town, the airport utilizes ancient and brittle water and sewer mains that are often clogged and prone to breaking and leaking. According to the town, there have been dozens of water main breaks over the past few years. In order to make this improvement project a reality, the Town of New Windsor is applying for $4.4 million in federal EDA funds. The overall project is expected to cost $8.835 million; the town and airport are already proposing to shoulder half of that cost. According to New Windsor, several key elements of the airport's water and sewage infrastructure must be improved or replaced entirely in order to serve the facility safely and adequately, and to support several current and pending economic development activities on the property.
Schumer said improving this infrastructure would bring economic benefits and increased business opportunities to the Town of New Windsor and all of Orange County. According to the airport, as of October 2015, Stewart had invested $172 million in infrastructure improvements to the Airport, mostly on runway rehabilitation. In addition, the airport is now poised to increase flights and the number of passengers it serves tenfold by 2025. By mid-2017, Stewart will have turned its makeshift federal inspection area into a permanent one, allowing for significant growth of international flights.
Schumer said this, combined with upgrades to the sewer system and the replacement of several water mains, would allow the Town of New Windsor to continue attracting business and economic development opportunities to the area. Schumer explained that system upgrades would not only modernize the airport, but also open up new tracts of land that were previously considered unusable. Schumer said this would allow Stewart Airport to continue to expand, support the construction of two new hotels, create a new business incubator, create and retrain local jobs and pave the way for the development of 2,400 additional acres of land.
Specifically, Schumer said this project would help foster economic development at the airport by allowing Stewart to better handle increased taxation on its water system as passenger traffic increases, and on the land surrounding the airport. This development will guarantee the jobs of the 2,700 Stewart Airport workers, as well as safeguard the employment of those working in the on-premise hotel, FBI building, Metal Container Corp. (InBev) and other businesses. On top of this, FedEx has a large workforce throughout Orange County, with over 300 employees, including 200 working at the facility next to Stewart Airport grounds that handles sorting and processing. The company employs 316 in Orange County and has said it could potentially grow with increased flights, as well as cargo space and shipping opportunities at Stewart.
In addition, the Orange County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) plans to construct a 10,000 sq. ft. office building and small business incubator on the property, and will specifically focus on the development of small food and beverage industry businesses as well as clothing manufacturing companies. The project is expected to cost $2 million and create 1 new job and retain 19 current jobs. Two hotels will also be built on the property; construction is expected to begin in the summer of this year. The project is estimated to cost $23.5 million and create 43 new jobs and retain 15 current jobs. Finally, Jointa Lime Company, is expected to create a permanent hot mix asphalt plan on the property. It is expected to employ up to 6 full-time workers and begin construction in 2018.
Schumer was joined by Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus and Town of New Windsor Supervisor George Green.
“I thank Senator Schumer for providing grant money that will help Stewart Airport’s infrastructure and stimulate economic development in Orange County. This funding will help ensure a bright future for Stewart and could lead the way for many other benefits. Stewart Airport is certainly deserving of these funds and we are all grateful for Senator Schumer’s efforts on this important project,” said OrangeCounty Executive Steven M. Neuhaus.
“We are so grateful for Senator Schumer's support of our application to the US Economic Development Administration for funding of Stewart International Airport's infrastructure needs. Improvements to Stewart's infrastructure will not only benefit New Windsor but the entire region, making it possible to expand economic development in the area,” said George Green, Town of New Windsor Supervisor.
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