Gov. Cuomo, throw out a lifeline to marine patrols

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express

Dear Gov. Cuomo:

It’s time we talked about boats again.

Several years ago, as HUD Secretary, you came to Penn Yan with a promise to help to keep a boat building facility operating and providing jobs. That deal was scuttled by the poor business practices of a company that left the property taxpayers high and dry.

While we understand the channels you, at the helm of the good ship New York, must navigate to bring this vessel safely home to port, we also need to sound an alarm about one of the measures in the proposed Executive budget.

By eliminating financial aid to local marine patrol operations from state revenues generated by the users of those services, you are shifting the burden to the property taxpayers — many who don’t ever sail or cruise.

The state collects $6.2 million in boating related user fees, but it only doles out $2.4 million in aid to marine patrol operations that keep our waterways safe for everyone.

We here in Yates County have already come to terms with the fact that we’re in the same boat in this economy, and you can be sure we’ll all be pulling on the oars to keep our community afloat through the coming storm. But we don’t need to be swamped by gigantic waves caused by state fiscal maneuvers that have our small boat listing toward catastrophe.

Throw out a lifeline and restore the funding for marine patrols.