Michael Hein

Ulster Legislative Meeting In Overnight Recess

Jan 23, 2014

KINGSTON – There is a meeting going on right now, with nobody in attendance. The rare overnight recess by the Ulster County Legislature represents another hurdle in the county’s parliamentary race against time. At stake are millions in county funds.

Wednesday’s special session of the county legislature is being held over until Thursday afternoon, in a last-ditch effort to forestall the ongoing sales tax extension time bomb.

Seniors Express Concern For Programs

Oct 10, 2013
Nicu Buculei /flickr

KINGSTON – Ulster County Executive Michael Hein assured senior citizens that the county has their backs covered.  He addressed the annual public hearing on Wednesday concerning the needs of county seniors.

Hein assured them that despite the federal government shutdown, he will make sure the meals on wheels program and others will be protected.

“The county is committed to shielding programs like meals on wheels to ensure the federal shutdown doesn’t have a negative impact on the lives of some of our most vulnerable citizens,” the county executive said.

Courtesy of NYS Assemblyman Kevin Cahill

KINGSTON – State Assemblyman Kevin Cahill (D-Kingston) has written to Ulster County Executive Michael Hein urging him to “change your tone from the inflammatory rhetoric that has characterized your actions over these last several months and join me in providing the people we represent with the kind of leadership they deserve.”

ALBANY – If voters approve legalized gaming in New York, the Catskills-Hudson Valley region would realize some $51 million a year in new revenue.

The state has approved the development of five casinos in four regions of the state with one region winning two facilities and the other three having one each.

School aid in the region would increase by $23.6 million while county distribution of new funds would total $27.4 million.

Local officials are hoping for one casino in Sullivan and another in Ulster.

No Movement In Ulster Sales Tax Crisis

Sep 3, 2013
401(K) 2012/Flickr

KINGSTON – The clock is ticking, but Ulster County Executive Michael Hein said there is still time for the State Assembly to approve continuation of one percent of the county sales tax, which is set to expire near the end of the year.

Hein, who has dubbed the situation the “Cahill crisis” because State Assemblyman Kevin Cahill (D, Kingston) blocked the approval before lawmakers went home this summer, said as a result of the potential loss of $5 million at the end of the year, he is preparing for all financial contingencies as he works up the county’s 2014 budget.

Courtesy of NYS Assemblyman Kevin Cahill

KINGSTON – Ulster County Executive Michael Hein signed legislation on Monday approved by the county legislature that codifies the county’s intention to absorb the cost of the state-mandated Safety Net social services program over a three-year period.

That hinges on the State Assembly passing the extension on one percent of the county’s sales tax and that does not seem likely until next year. That could cost the county $5 million in revenue not collected in the last quarter of this year.

401(K) 2012/Flickr

KINGSTON – As the clock keeps ticking, the likelihood of the governor calling a special session of the legislature diminishes and that means any hope of passing legislation to allow Ulster County to keep its sales tax at its current level fades.

Assemblyman Kevin Cahill said if it does not make it before lawmakers this fall, it will come up early next year. But, county officials say they need the one percent sales tax exemption ASAP or the county will lose about $5 million in revenue.

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KINGSTON – The Ulster County-owned Golden Hill Health Care Facility was transferred Wednesday to the private Golden Hill Planning Corporation. The company is owned by local businessman Dr. Anthony Bacchi, as well as Edward Farbenblum and Martin Farbenblum, who are experienced nursing home operators.

The facility will remain open, providing care for its residents, retaining jobs and placing the property back on the tax rolls.

The company paid $11.25 million for the facility.

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KINGSTON – The sale of the Ulster County-owned Golden Hill nursing home in Kingston is almost complete.  The county is selling it to GH Acquisition Corp. for $11.25 million.

County Executive Michael Hein said the transfer is in the final stage.

“We are dealing with the very last components of it before there is a final process of transition,” Hein told MidHudsonNews.com.  “We are dealing with the state Department of Health and we expect that to be done any moment.”

Steven Depolo/Flickr

KINGSTON – Voters overwhelmingly approved the sale of Sofie Finn Elementary School in Kingston to SUNY Ulster for $300,000. The school will be transformed into an urban satellite campus. 

The proposition's unofficial tally was 2,784 for and 570 against.

Gambling chips

KINGSTON – Despite Governor Cuomo’s announced gaming casino plan that would include one in the Catskills/Hudson Valley region, Ulster County Executive Michael Hein is pushing for more.

The EPT/Empire Resorts plan for the former Concord Hotel property in Kiamesha Lake appears to be the regional frontrunner, but Hein is continuing to lobby for the Nevele facility in the Ellenville area.

“We look forward to advocating for Ulster County and for the Nevele and also for our entire region,” Hein said.

Kingston Daily Freeman

KINGSTON – Governor Cuomo’s proposed state budget includes $2 million for the development of a rail trail from Kingston to the Ashokan Reservoir. The ultimate goal is to connect it to the Walkway Over the Hudson.

Ulster County Executive Michael Hein said they are working to create “a world class tourism destination” in the county. He said the project has “far reaching regional significance and will positively impact tourism, public health, economic development” and will allow residents and visitors from across the globe to enjoy the “pristine beauty” of Ulster County.