Assemblyman Colin Schmitt’s Statement On Passage Of Chester Community Preservation Legislation

ALBANY, NY — Assemblyman Colin J. Schmitt (R,C,I,LBT,SAM - New Windsor) is proud to announce he has successfully passed his bipartisan Chester Community Preservation legislation in the Assembly (A.5585A).

This bill will allow Chester to finance conservation programs, as many neighboring communities have enacted in recent years. The Town of Chester Town Board unanimously requested Assembly Schmitt pass this legislation in the Assembly. The bill has now passed both chambers of the State Legislature and awaits action by the Governor. The bill authorizes the Town of Chester to establish community preservation funds and a PDR (Purchase of Development Rights) program that can be used to conserve and protect open space, farmland, water sources, natural resources, historical landmarks, and more.

Schmitt has been the leading proponent of community preservation legislation and has led the effort to pass the county-wide Orange County Community Preservation Bill in the State Assembly multiple times previously. Unfortunately, the county-wide legislation had been blocked in the State Senate.

“I am proud and honored to announce that the State Assembly overwhelmingly joined together in bipartisan fashion to pass my Chester Community Preservation legislation for the benefit of the entire Chester community,” Assemblyman Colin J. Schmitt stated. “This will lay the framework for the Town of Chester to work to preserve its rural character and protect open space, farmland, water sources, natural resources, and so much more for future generations of residents to enjoy and appreciate.”

Robert Valentine, Chester Town Supervisor stated, “For years we have sought adequate and appropriate legislative remedies to create a community preservation fund for the Town of Chester. I am extremely grateful to Assemblyman Colin Schmitt for never giving up and getting this bill across the finish line. The passage of this legislation opens up endless opportunities for our municipality, thank you, Assemblyman Schmitt.”

Glenn Ehlers, Orange County Legislator stated, “The Chester community has rallied together to support this PDR legislation and I thank our Assemblyman, Colin Schmitt, for getting the bill across the finish line once again for us. We can always count on Assemblyman Colin Schmitt.”

Bob Courtenay, Chester Town Councilman stated, “Thank you to my friend and dependable partner in government, Assemblyman Colin Schmitt, for your tireless efforts to pass our crucial Chester preservation bill. Chester can always count on Assemblyman Colin Schmitt to deliver for us. Regardless of the opposition or hurdles, Assemblyman Schmitt has always been the unwavering leader working to see this through for our residents. This legislation carries wide local bipartisan support and I am happy to have served as the point person between the Assemblyman and our town to get this done.”

Stephen Keahon, Preserve Chester stated, “Preserve Chester thanks Assemblyman Colin Schmitt for his leadership in passing this critical piece of legislation for Chester in the Assembly. Our community has fought for years to secure community preservation legislation to keep our open space and farmland and resources protected. Since day one Colin has promised to support this bill and make it a reality and he has once again kept his word. We thank him for his constant support, keeping us updated throughout the entire process and seeing it through to success.”

Tracy Schuh, The Preservation Collective stated, “It is a great day for Chester that once again Assemblyman Colin Schmitt has passed our community preservation fund legislation in the Assembly. This bill is the most important planning measure for our town and its future. I thank Assemblyman Schmitt for his efforts and thank all in the community who have rallied together to get this done. I urge the Governor to swiftly sign this bill.”

The bill has now passed both chambers of the legislature and awaits action by the Governor.