KINGSTON – Ulster County Executive Jen Metzger and Chair of the Legislature Tracey Bartels traveled to Washington, D.C., this past Thursday to speak at a White House meeting on local impacts of federal investments from major Biden-Harris initiatives like the American Rescue Plan Act, the Inflation Reduction Act, and the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Approximately 50 State and local elected officials and community and labor leaders from across New York were invited to the event, titled “Communities in Action” – one in a series of events planned for different states across the nation.
County Executive Metzger spoke about State and County efforts to reduce climate-damaging emissions and improve community resilience and praised the Biden-Harris Administration for the historic level of resources and support for such efforts under the Inflation Reduction Act and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
“This Administration, working with Congress, has made a historic commitment of resources to our communities to address the climate crisis and bolster our resilience to its impacts, and we plan on leveraging those resources to the fullest here in Ulster County to invest in more resilient infrastructure and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels,” said Ulster County Executive Jen Metzger. “I appreciated the opportunity to provide a local perspective and also hear from Administration officials about programs to address a number of different issues important to our County, from housing for veterans to investments in broadband.”
“It was a privilege to attend the Communities in Action event and to hear from the Biden Administration and local officials from across New York State about the many ways to leverage the vast array of resources that the federal government has made available to local governments,” said Chair of the Legislature Tracey Bartels. “The American Rescue Plan placed unprecedented trust in local municipal leaders to determine how the federal funding would have the most local impact. Through a deliberative process, Ulster County and the Legislative ARPA Committee identified the greatest need and partnered with our towns, villages, and community organizations to have a multiplier effect. We have made improvements and investments in our local non-profits and businesses, municipal water and sewer, parks and rail trails, food security, and housing. The historic investments made by the Biden-Harris administration allowed Ulster County to take meaningful action in the area of mental health including funding the purchase of the soon-to-be-opened Crisis Stabilization Center, a dedication to fund respite homes, and a successful pilot program for mental health services in middle schools across the county. I am so thankful and deeply honored that Executive Metzger and I were able to represent Ulster County and share the success stories of our programs.”