KINGSTON – The Ulster County Legislature’s Economic Development, Tourism, Housing, Planning and Transit Committee unanimously approved the transfer of ownership of Enterprise West in Lake Katrine, formally known as Tech City, to the county’s local development corporation, the Ulster County Economic Development Alliance, Tuesday evening.
Although passed unanimously, legislators have reservations concerning the makeup of the LDC’s board, specifically having county employees seated on it.
Answering a series of questions posed by the legislature, namely by Legislator Lynn Archer, Ulster County Director of Innovation Tim Weidemann said the transfer alone would not require additional responsibilities of the county, it’s not expected to require additional county employees and the county can still rent, or lease, the property following the transfer. Also, he said the board would be a partnership between the county executive’s office and the legislature.
However, the creation of the final board had not been established prior to the resolution to move on the transfer of ownership.
Committee Chair Brian Cahill, along with Archer and a number of other legislators, did not support having members of the county executive’s office sit on the board.
Officials from the executive’s office voiced a commitment to not having representation on that board and Cahill said the committee should make a show of trust, moving the transfer forward in confidence that their concerns would be addressed later.
“We have to have a level of trust in what the multiple people are telling us tonight,” said Cahill. “Yes, I know some people have had bad experiences. Yes, I know we’ve been disappointed in not getting things that we requested in the past. There’s no argument about that and I don’t think we’re talking about that. I think we’re talking more in the terms of, for this project, moving it forward and building a trust relationship with the folks that we’re working with here,” he said.
Ultimately, that position was adopted by the committee and the transfer of ownership will now move to be voted on by the full legislature.