The Ulster County Legislature approved with overwhelming support the purchase of a 57.3 acre tract of land on Paradies Lane in the Town of New Paltz as the site of the new Ulster County Government Operations Center, a 15,000ft² facility which will house the County’s E-911 services and the Department of Emergency Management.
The location was chosen after careful consideration of nine other locations across Ulster County. The final location at Paradies Lane was selected based on clear advantages in cost, lot size and condition, proximity to the New York State Thruway and existing communication lines and sufficient redundancies already in place.
“The Legislature took an active role in the site selection process for the Government Operations Center saving taxpayers nearly $1.5 million dollars, ensuring our first responders have the resources to ensure greater public safety. This critical investment in our County’s future will ensure that our communities remain resilient to natural and manmade crises for generations to come,” said Chair of the Legislature Tracey Bartels (District 16, Gardiner, Shawangunk).
This site will replace the existing facility located at Golden Hill in Kingston. The current building housing E-911 is a cramped space with poor ventilation and outdated technology. The new facility will utilize existing Verizon trunk lines running along the Thruway, cutting costs for extensive installation that would have been required at the other prospective locations. Additionally, this site will have multiple access points, a significant improvement from the sole entrance at the existing Golden Hill location. Once complete, this facility and its counterpart in Dutchess County will serve as fail safes for each other in the event of a regional weather or other emergency.
“Ensuring public safety is one of the most critical functions that county government provides. When a resident of Ulster County comes face-to-face with the worst day of their life, our incredible team of 911 operators and first-responders answer the call. As recent ice storms and tornadoes have shown us, our climate is changing and our public safety infrastructure must evolve. I am excited for us to modernize and harden the infrastructure that keeps our community safe as our county responds to the new generation of life-threatening challenges that surely lie ahead,” said Legislator Abe Uchitelle, Chair of the Law Enforcement and Public Safety Committee (District 5, City of Kingston).
“This facility will allow give our first responders and law enforcement officials the resources, space and technology necessary to assess and address crises in an expedient manner. Locating the center in the middle of the county will ensure county operations can function better in the event of a crisis,” said Legislator Gina Hansut, Deputy Chair of the Law Enforcement and Public Safety Committee (District 10, Highland, Marlborough).
“The Government Operations Center will allow Ulster County to better address increasingly common extreme weather events and other crises, as well as improve the day-to-day emergency response of the many ambulance companies and volunteer fire departments that serve our communities,” said Legislator John Gavaris, Chair of the Ways and Means Committee (District 15, Ellenville, Wawarsing).
“Moving the locus of emergency management to the center of Ulster County will allow faster responses to crises in Southern Ulster and the surrounding area and increased communication with municipal law enforcement agencies. As an EMT, I can say with confidence this facility will improve response times and save lives,” said Legislator Ken Ronk, Minority Leader (District 13, Shawangunk).
“Moving Ulster County Emergency Management from Golden Hill to Paradies Lane will better serve all Ulster County residents by ensuring an emergency or extreme weather event in Kingston does not hinder response in other communities, and allows the department to expand operation, improve response time and serve as a staging location for outside aid in times of crisis,” said Legislator Megan Sperry (District 17, New Paltz, Rifton).
The Ulster County Government Operations Center is estimated to be running in late 2024. Significant grant funding has been secured through the State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management which will alleviate costs to taxpayers.