By Jay Behrke

MIDDLETOWN – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo held a press conference at Middletown’s Paramount Theater announcing the bestowal of $10 million to the city via a hard-fought regional economic development prize.

“We don’t do it in Albany, we had a competition,” explained Cuomo. “I believe in competition because it brings up everybody’s game. We said to Mayor [Joseph] DeStefano, ‘You want to compete for a downtown revitalization grant. By the way, you’re competing against over one hundred other downtown areas. And the best downtown redevelopment plan will win.’”

Then, looking pointedly at the mayor, “It was a very powerful application, and I’m here to tell you you won the full $10 million…”

Applause drowned out the governor as those inside the theater rejoiced in what such an economic windfall will mean to the community.

Cuomo appeared in both Middletown and Plattsburgh Wednesday to announce each city having won $10 million grants to support downtown revitalization projects. Middletown – whose application focused on its business improvement district –  was selected for the award by the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council.

Outside the theater, anti-CPV activists chanted and brandished signs urging the governor to stop the plant, which will use fracked gas, from opening in Wawayanda.

“We’re here to beseech the government to deny the CPV power plant the lateral pipeline permit,” said actor and activist James Cromwell, a passionate and familiar voice at these protests. “It’s going to destroy this area.”


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