Odell Endorses HVSF Grant Appeal

Also, Putnam receives first installment of federal relief

County Executive MaryEllen Odell and Legislator Nancy Montgomery often clash over Putnam’s policies and priorities.

But they both apparently love the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, and each endorsed HVSF’s application for a state grant to assist with its anticipated move in 2022 from Boscobel to the site of The Garrison Golf Course, which is closing.

In a July 27 letter to the state Regional Economic Development Council (REDC), Odell wrote that she has “regularly attended” HVSF performances and described the troupe as “one of the finest summertime attractions in the Hudson Valley, bringing together members of the local community as well as visitors from outside our region.” With “a permanent home in Philipstown,” HVSF can “remain a community-driven attraction in the Mid-Hudson Region for years to come,” said Odell, a Republican.

Montgomery, a Democrat who represents Philipstown and part of Putnam Valley on the Putnam County Legislature, shared similar sentiments in a July 28 letter to the REDC, noting that “my family and I have been proud annual attendees” for years and that “HVSF has demonstrated a real commitment to our local community, with over $8 million of local economic impact, serving as one of the largest local employers, attracting more than 35,000 audience members, and providing educational programming to our students and families.”

Their letters were provided to members of the Legislature’s Economic Development Committee on Tuesday (Aug. 10).

HVSF “is in need of all the support they can get,” said Montgomery, a committee member.

In other business…

■ Replying to an inquiry from Montgomery, Odell reported that Putnam has received $9,548,753.50 as the first of two installments of its allotment under the federal American Rescue Plan. In an Aug. 4 memo, Odell told legislators that she would not propose spending priorities until the county knows if the federal government makes any further changes to the rules on its use. “We will update the Legislature as we progress,” she promised.

■ The Personnel Committee, which also met on Tuesday, approved releasing $10,000 placed in reserve last year during a debate over the Sheriff’s Department marine unit, which is now largely disbanded. The transfer will replenish an account used to pay for enforcement of laws regulating commercial vehicles.

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