Molinaro backs down on $12.5 million for stadium
Cloey Callahan reports in the Times Union that Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro has backed off, for now, his plan to give $12.5 million in taxpayer money for a minor league baseball stadium. This comes after the state was going to give almost a billion dollars in taxpayer money to the billionaire owners of the Buffalo Bills for a new stadium. Gov. Kathy Hochul eventually lowered that number somewhat, but still gave the billionaires a lot of taxpayer money. In Dutchess County, Molinaro backed off and redirected $9.5 million of the stadium money for housing needs. Molinaro, a Republican, is running for Congress, trying to unseat Democrat Antonio Delgado, and likely did not want the stadium money criticism lingering over his campaign. “This should have been the case from the get-go,” Dutchess County Minority Leader Yvette Valdés Smith said. “Our county needs so much assistance. Our housing market has really boomed, but it has really hit us hard as communities. There are a lot of renters in my own district … trying to buy their first home and simply cannot. Prices have really gone up.” Last month, Molinaro was defending the money for the stadium. “If there was one industry impacted the most by the closures of the economy, it was tourism,” Molinaro said. “In the case of Dutchess Stadium, it’s the tourism destination for thousands and thousands of people every night for most of the year.” Now, though, he is talking about the housing shortage. “It’s a real crisis for ordinary families. Compound that with highest rate of inflation in years, high mortgage rates, it’s a challenge," he said. Read more about this story in the Times Union.