POUGHKEEPSIE – Eight Dutchess County Democratic legislators voted to approve a $1.4 million bond for design expenses and installation of new lights at Dutchess Stadium, while two voted against. The project initiates a series of relationships with the Renegades, which has recently affiliated with the Yankees as a new “high A” minor league team.
“This is an exciting opportunity for fans and local businesses,” said Legislator Brennan Kearney (Rhinebeck/Clinton). “Most important, it’s good news for taxpayers. The stadium has been costly. We now appear to have a long-term plan to generate revenue so the stadium pays for itself.”
Legislator Rebecca Edwards (Town of Poughkeepsie) said, “We’re glad to hear that the stadium will continue to be available on the same terms as before, for local team practices and games, high school graduations, and other events.” She also praised the Renegades’ commitment to contracting with local vendors and creating jobs and expanded programs for local youth.
Legislator Kris Munn (Red Hook / Tivoli) voted against the bond. “In this time of fiscal uncertainty,” he said, “and pending the passage of the Federal COVID Relief bill, I felt it was fiscally imprudent to make this commitment when so many of our fellow Dutchess County residents are unable to make ends meet or get a vaccine in a timely manner.”
Legislator Giancarlo Llaverias (Town of Poughkeepsie) also voted no, saying the $1 million for stadium lights “could be better used for outreach and engaging our youth, helping small local businesses, and supporting grassroots organizations working for those severely underserved.”
At a February 4 meeting, legislators were assured that the county will weigh options to reduce car traffic and make the stadium accessible by bicycle, car, and public transit. Development of a shuttle to Metro North’s Beacon station, with potential daytime use of the stadium lot for commuters, will also be explored.