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September 5th, 2012

This Week in Orange County 9-5-12

Orange County Executive Edward Diana
This week, as we mark the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Irene rocking Orange County, we watch as another hurricane wreaks havoc on the Gulf Coast once again. Our thoughts and prayers are with those in the Gulf region as they begin the process of recovery.

 Fortunately, here in Orange County one year later, we are enjoying beautiful late summer weather with just a hint of crispness that lets us know that fall is just around the corner. Unfortunately, one year later, many Orange County communities and residents are still feeling the effects of the devastation left in the wake of last year’s storms Irene and Lee. One of those areas is Forge Hill Road in New Windsor.

Yesterday I joined Congresswoman Nan Hayworth, Assemblywoman Nancy Calhoun, and New Windsor Supervisor George Green at the site of the washed out Forge Hill Road bridge to urge our New York State officials to do everything within their power to expedite the repair of this major thoroughfare from Route 9W to Route 94 in New Windsor. The State has said that they will work with us to speed the process along, but it will be incumbent upon us to hold their feet to the fire as we work through the necessary review process. This week, I signed off on the first phase of paperwork - the State/Local Agreement - and it was hand delivered to the regional office of the NYS Department of Transportation. Soon Orange County DPW will be able to begin working with the consultant to design the new bridge. I know that DPW Commissioner Charles Lee and his team share my commitment to seeing this project accomplished as quickly as possible.

One of the things that makes our County a great place to live, work, and raise a family is the many dedicated people who work here in service to our residents throughout the County. Sadly, we said goodbye to two dedicated public servants recently. On behalf of the people of Orange County, I want to express my sympathy on the passing of Elaine Tilford Schneer of Cornwall and William Brown Sr. of Monroe.

Elaine spent nearly half her life in public service. She was the long-time Town Clerk of Cornwall and served the people of that community for 39 years. She was re-elected to the position of Town Clerk 17 times! In 2010, she was recognized by the New York State Archives for excellence in records management. No stranger to public service, Elaine was the granddaughter of Charles Ketchum who served as Chairman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors.

Among his many affiliations, Bill was a 45 year member and past chief of Lakeside Fire & Rescue Company, captain of the Monroe Joint Fire District Fire Police, a member of the Orange County Volunteer Fireman’s Association, and the Orange County Fire Chief’s Association. He also served with distinction as an appointed member of the Orange County Fire Advisory Board. He was truly committed to the public safety and well-being of the people of this community.

Elaine and Bill will each be long-remembered for their many years of dedication and the legacy of service they leave behind. The thoughts and prayers of a grateful County go out to their family and loved ones.

Until next week, I wish you good health and happiness.

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