News & Insights

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE: Growth and balance are not mutually exclusive

To the People:
With the impending growth that is clearly here now and for the foreseeable future, our ability to balance this growth while encouraging more will be the key to our economic success.

Let there be no mistake, we are about to enter an era of growth in Sullivan County that we have not seen for many decades. The foundation has now been set with Resorts World Catskills and YO1.

And while we need to address structural deficiencies in infrastructure, downtown aesthetics and housing among others, pioneers in those areas are beginning to make significant investments respectively.

There is genuine interest now by developers, national financing houses, international development and those simply expanding or starting businesses to serve the expected market expansion locally. It’s about time.

It has been said that communities that are not growing are dying. We have certainly experienced that. And yet, shockingly, there are some that panic at the
thought that growth will be taking place, that in their eyes will dramatically change Sullivan County for the worse.

Well, they are right.

Not for the reasons claimed. There will be no doom and gloom. We CAN have growth and balance at the same time. We CAN promote development that provides proper balance in our community. What gets lost in the dialogue is that Sullivan County lost massive amounts of investment, and jobs for decades, creating what was thought to be an impossible imbalance to overcome.

That is changing rapidly. In 2011 the Open Space Institute study “Private Lands, Public Benefits” revealed that “Development can quadruple before needing to replace regionally identified open space resources… This suggests that a win-win for conservation and development IS possible.” (My emphasis on IS).

Sullivan County has the greatest percentage for land (30%) available for development, the study additionally concluded.

In other words, there is much room for development that allows us to encourage diverse, balanced growth in as broad a sector pool as local laws allow.
This will allow us to continue the momentum now created by our recent signature projects, all without negatively impacting our bucolic existence.

That is exactly what is now occurring. We will continue on our path to promote sustainable development across many sectors in order to keep our community growing. After all, communities that are growing are not dying.

Marc Baez President, Sullivan County Partnership for Economic Development