Rensselaer County Ready to Return to Prosperity and Success in 2021, County Executive Steve McLaughlin Says
Work Lowering Taxes and Improving Services, Along with a Courageous and Compassionate Response Shows Strength and Resiliency of County, McLaughlin Says
Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin delivered an optimistic, hopeful and energetic State of the County address today during a virtual address to the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce, saying the county will meet the challenges presented by the pandemic and return to prosperity.
McLaughlin noted the county’s history and heritage of innovation, industry and ingenuity, and said those characteristics will again serve the county well during 2021.
“We have seen major challenges before, and responded with excellence, innovation and ingenuity. That spirit is needed again in Rensselaer County,” said McLaughlin.
“Today, I am calling on you, the leaders of our county in business, education, technology, government and agriculture to use your skills, talents, optimism and energy to restart and revitalize in 2021. Let’s return to our winning ways,” added McLaughlin.
The county has worked to be well-positioned in the new year. All three of McLaughlin’s budgets as County Executive have included tax decreases and been adopted unanimously. The county paved 50 miles of roads in 2020, a record, with the county paving over 105 miles during McLaughlin’s three years as Executive. The county’s bond rating has also been upgraded during McLaughlin’s service as Executive.
The county has also seen historic job creation with the Amazon project in Schodack and the ongoing expansion at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals in East Greenbush. Other projects in Troy and surrounding towns have also created new jobs and opportunity. The county has also seen encouraging returns on sales tax numbers in 2020, one year after leading the state in sales tax growth.
“Every day presents an opportunity. We believe we have made the best of the opportunities given to us in Rensselaer County, and improved on our foundation for growth, investment and job creation. As a county, we have also taken hard hits during 2020 but responded with courage, compassion, innovation and hard work. We can achieve great things and look forward to working with all of you to make 2021 an historic year of comebacks and new victories,” said McLaughlin.
The county’s response to the pandemic has been inspiring and shows the strength and resiliency of the county, noted McLaughlin. When the county was unable to secure a test site, the county paid to establish an independent COVID-19 testing facility, the only county in the region to make such an investment. The facility has played a role in providing nearly 160,000 tests in the county.
McLaughlin also pointed out the outstanding work of county government during the pandemic by the Health Department, county Aging Department and other departments. He also noted the important role vaccines will play in restoring the economy.
“The Health Department and Mary Fran deserve special recognition and thanks. They have been on the frontlines battling the outbreak seven days a week since February. They have given so much over these difficult months to keep us safe, while essentially putting their own lives on hold. We owe them great thanks for their service. Their work during these difficult months represents the finest service our county can offer,” said McLaughlin.