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Bipartisan Federal, State and Local Leaders Commend First Step in Establishing Newburgh Port

Jan 31, 2014
Press Release
Newburgh City Council Votes 6-0 to Approve Conceptual Plan for Port in Newburgh

Newburgh, N.Y. -  Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18), Senator Bill Larkin (R,C- Cornwall-on-Hudson) and Assemblyman Frank Skartados  (D- Milton) have been joined by the City of Newburgh, Newburgh City Council and Orange County Executive to support the creation of the Port of Newburgh. The Port of Newburgh has the potential to create significant job opportunities, revenue, and economic development for the City of Newburgh.

Partnering with local businessman David Plotkin of Steelways, Inc., these bi-partisan leaders have been working to develop the Port of Newburgh concept over the last 60 days. This public-private partnership will cost $16.5 million, including $3 million in new payroll for initial construction. Once in operation, the Port of Newburgh will be the only marine and rail convergence between New York City and Albany, providing numerous opportunities for job creation and economic growth.

“Steelways has been working on projects internationally since 1968. The creation of a Port formalizes that tradition of work, and expands the presence of our company, as well as the city of Newburgh. The impact on future employment opportunities and projects is endless in terms of being positioned strategically to respond to those opportunities,” said David Plotkin, President of Steelways.

“The Port of Newburgh will be an economic engine for the entire Hudson Valley creating quality jobs and increasing tourism. Seeing local, county, state and federal government working together on this public-private partnership has been inspiring. I look forward to the city of Newburgh becoming the thriving community we all know it can be,” said Senator William J. Larkin, Jr.

“Investing in The Port of Newburgh will revitalize our local economy and create long-term, good paying, local jobs. Newburgh is at the heart of the Hudson Valley - with this public-private partnership we can get results for the people of Newburgh and get this city back on track,” said Representative Sean Patrick Maloney.

“I am glad to see Newburgh use one of its many untapped assets to bring in high paying jobs and commerce. This is also another example of how the private sector and government at all levels can work together to achieve great things,” said Assemblyman Frank K. Skartados.

"I am pleased to be a part of the effort to continue the revitalization of our Newburgh waterfront. By establishing a deepwater port here, Orange County will not only benefit from increased commercial activity from the new Tappan Zee Bridge, but attract additional tourism and economic development opportunities to the region. I have been a solid supporter of the new bridge and port projects, and I look forward to working with local, state, and federal partners to bring this deepwater port to our stretch of the Hudson River,” said County Executive Steve Neuhaus.

“The Port of Newburgh concept demonstrates the value of a public private partnership.This collaboration is ideal for Newburgh and its citizens. This monumental initiative is the beginning of the awakening of Newburgh into a vibrant city where families will want to live, work and educate their children,” said Curlie W. Dillard, Orange County Legislator (4th Legislative District).

“Newburgh historically has played a central part in the development of the Hudson Valley and to be part of such an iconic project is sure to enhance that history. The economic stimulus and employment opportunities for not only Newburgh, but all of Orange County and its residents will be enthusiastically welcomed,” said Jim Kulise, Orange County  Legislator (6th Legislative District).

"I think it is important to note that the pace of the project was made possible through a collaborative, bi-partisan vision for a common goal and that this transformative project proves that the progress in Newburgh is real, sustainable and will continue as long as we remain focused on this shared vision,” said David Potack, Chairman, Greater Newburgh Partnership.             

"The Port of Newburgh project is all about future job opportunities and most importantly, keeping jobs local. The Port will position the city of Newburgh to be able to respond to those opportunities resulting in growth for the region, and most specifically, for the city of Newburgh," said Michael Gaydos, Business Manager, Local 417 Iron Workers.

“There is a famous quote, ‘If you build it they will come.’ This is an opportunity for the City of Newburgh, Orange County and the entire Hudson Valley.  This is a real partnership with Democrats, Republicans, business and organized labor working together to develop the Port of Newburgh.  We have potential for real jobs with good wages and benefits,” said L. Todd Diorio, President, Hudson Valley Building and Construction Trades Council.

On Monday, the Newburgh City Council voted 6-0 to approve a conceptual plan for a Port of Newburgh and conceptual support for an agreement to proceed with David Plotkin, President of Steelways, Inc.

"Newburgh has one of the few deep water bays along the Hudson.  It's history and heritage has been in shipping and ship building.  It is time for the Port of Newburgh to be redeveloped - creating the opportunity for major economic development and creating many jobs for our citizens.  I fully support this opportunity,” said Newburgh Mayor Judy Kennedy.

“This is a great opportunity for the City of Newburgh. This public-private partnership with David Plotkin and Steelways could be a turning point in the renaissance of the City of Newburgh,” said Newburgh Deputy Mayor Regina Angelo.

“Newburgh is blessed with a deep-water port. With this project, we would be returning to our proud history of commerce and development on the river. This can be a long-term economic stimulus for the community,” said Newburgh Interim City Manager James Slaughter.

“I want the Port of Newburgh to be a successful plan to rebuild our City. Most importantly, I want the jobs created by this project to go to City of Newburgh residents. The support of our local unions in training them in the necessary skills is essential. We must do everything we can to ensure that providing employment for our residents is prioritized,” said Councilwoman Cindy Holmes.

“This is a real, concrete opportunity for the City of Newburgh to contribute to New York’s history by being part of the New NY Bridge.  By conceptually approving the plan for the Port of Newburgh we are one step closer to fulfilling our commitment to the community of attracting industries that generate jobs,” stated Councilwoman Karen Mejia.

“This is truly a game-changer for Newburgh. I see the Port of Newburgh Project as a first step in bringing much-needed jobs for the residents of my ward, and indeed for the entire city. The cement and steel work that will be done here will not only take a huge bite out of our 11% unemployment rate, but also will bring great benefits to the many small businesses that will serve these workers. In addition, the ‘ripple effect’ will help bring new businesses here, and increase tourism not only to our dear old river town but also to the entire region,” stated Newburgh Councilwoman Genie Abrams, in whose ward the Port of Newburgh project will lie.

“This is an opportunity for the City to flex its mighty muscles by instituting a residency requirement to assure Newburgh residents first place in the job market.  We must make sure that all economic development in the City benefits City residents first and foremost while helping to grow our tax base,” said Newburgh Councilwoman Gay Lee.

"The concept of the Port of Newburgh presents the opportunity for the Newburgh City Council to utilize its leadership and visionary role to provide further growth and commerce for the City of Newburgh," said Newburgh Councilman Cedric Brown.