Midsize cities in New York join forces to get more from Albany

Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 4:47 PM EDT
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PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) - Midsize cities in New York are banding together to get more from Albany.

“We recognize in the Senate that there are cities that are struggling and have seen disinvestment over a number of years,” said Sen. Jeremy Cooney, D-Rochester.

That’s why the freshman Democratic senator is touring the eight largest cities in the state outside of the Big Apple.

The listening tour allows Cooney to meet with key players in the cities to discuss what they need.

“How can we work together in a bipartisan fashion to deliver for the New Yorkers living in the North Country? That’s what we wanted to start here today,” Cooney said.

The topics discussed over the hour and a half focused on infrastructure, downtown redevelopment, child care and education needs, and what it’s like being an international city, among many other things.

“Really the intersectionality of all of those different important components of creating a vibrant workforce,” Cooney said.

Mayor Chris Rosenquest wants more state dollars for infrastructure. He says the city focuses on roads and gets a lot of state funding for them, but he would like to see more money for water infrastructure needs.

“To match what we currently have in our portfolio of infrastructure assets in wastewater and water distribution. Something like that goes a very long way,” said Rosenquest, D-Plattsburgh.

The mayor says more state money for infrastructure frees up the city to spend on other things.

“Where we can then take that money and either reduce tax rates or we can invest that money into somewhere else that’s needed,” Rosenquest said.

“We all want friends and allies on whatever our challenges are,” said Sen. Dan Stec, R-Queensbury.

Stec says having the support from senators on the other side of the aisle, like Cooney, will help the North Country in the end.

“His colleagues and our colleagues are going to be looking on him for leadership on issues important to our cities. So for all those reasons, this is a great opportunity today for Plattsburgh,” Stec said.

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