POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- Dutchess County will be healthier, safer, and more prosperous by the time 2026 rolls around, County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro vowed in his State of the County address this week.
Molinaro laid out the three goals Wednesday, Jan. 27, before a large crowd at the Bardavon Opera House in downtown Poughkeepsie.
“While the state of our county is strong, if we think differently and act boldly, we can make it even stronger,” the county executive told his audience.
Dutchess ranks ninth among New York’s 62 counties in overall health outcomes and 10th in health factors, Molinaro said, citing data from the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute.
It is his goal, he said, to improve those numbers so that, within 10 years, Dutchess will rank first in both those categories.
In order to help achieve that goal, he said, the county is launching a multi-year employee wellness initiative. Encouraging employees to be more conscious of their health will improve “morale, productivity and their overall quality of life,” Molinaro explained.
Good health depends on good nutrition, he said, adding that “sadly, affordable and accessible options remain out of reach for far too many.”
The county’s new “agricultural navigator” and the Legislature’s Farm Fresh initiative have both been tasked with working with Poughkeepsie Plenty, Hudson Valley Fresh, and local farmers to identify new outlets and expand access to the wide variety of locally grown foods, he said.
As for making Dutchess a safer place to life, Molinaro announced that he will present a proposal to build a Dutchess County Justice and Transition Center to county legislators on Thursday, Feb. 4.
This will, he said, represent the final step toward making the Dutchess model “the nation’s leading comprehensive justice system.”
Molinaro said his third intiative – a “Revitalization Revolution” -- would require local municipalities to streamline their application processes to promote growth throughout the county.
The county is, as always, he said, committed to helping the fiscally struggling City of Poughkeepsie “once again rise to prominence.”
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