Mayor mulls creating city IDA
Noble cites changes, ‘different priorities’ of county body
Mayor Steve Noble wants the city to create its own Industrial Development Agency.
“As part of my overall economic development agenda, we have been working to create new, living wage jobs in our community and have used a variety of tools to do so,” Noble wrote in a letter to Common Council President James Noble earlier this month. “We have successfully worked with various entities and organizations that have partnered with us to demonstrate the high quality of life, diverse population, skill sets, and available space, which have allowed us to work on creating a new economy here in Kingston.
“In an effort to make sure that we have all the tools available to us, I believe it is important that the
city of Kingston work with our partners in the state legislature to create our own Industrial Development Agency (IDA),” Noble wrote. “Currently, the county IDA is going through a change in leadership and management, and may have different priorities than us here in Kingston.”
Noble said he would like the Common Council to request home-rule legislation to allow the city to create its own Industrial Development Agency. Summer Smith, the city’s director of communications and community engagement, said the mayor’s request was going to the council’s Finance and Audit Committee, which meets again Thursday, Jan. 24. She said the city is still very early in the process, but the mayor should have more to say at that meeting.
The Ulster County Industrial Development Agency recently severed ties with the Ulster County Office of Economic Development, which had provided administrative services to the agency. It instead contracted with an Orange County company to provide those services, but the company has since withdrawn from the agreement after learning the decision was resulting in a political battle between the Industrial Development Agency and the office of Ulster County Executive Michael Hein.
The mission of the county Industrial Development Agency, according to its website, “is to advance the job opportunities, general prosperity and long-term economic vitality of Ulster County residents by targeting tax incentives, bonding and other assistance to foster creation and attraction of new business and the retention and expansion of existing business.”
Kingston Mayor Steve Noble talks to the Freeman during a live interview on Friday, Jan. 11.