Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan Presents 2022 State of the County Address

Posted February 23, 2022


County Executive Pat Ryan reported that the State of Ulster County is strong and that County government is on track and delivering tangible results across each of the Big Five Initiatives he established upon entering office


County Executive Pat Ryan outlined bold, generational investments in housing, mental health and addiction recovery services, economic development, and climate action that will position Ulster County as a national leader


County Executive Pat Ryan urged residents to look ahead to a bright, optimistic future for Ulster County; declaring,“COVID may remain part of our lives, but we can’t let it dominate our lives”


KINGSTON, N.Y. - County Executive Pat Ryan today delivered his third State of the County Address, highlighting the County’s strength and resilience in the face of unprecedented challenges over the last two years. County Executive Ryan reflected on the County’s achievements, ranging from retaking control of the former IBM site, to attracting a nation-leading marijuana company in Ellenville, to an historic re-investment in mental health, to the deployment of the County’s first electric buses. 

County Executive Ryan urged residents to begin to look “beyond the pandemic,” and outlined a series of “generational investments” that the County is making to curb the housing crisis, protect the environment, and grow the economy through an anticipated half a billion dollars in future investments in major economic hubs in the Town of Ulster and Ellenville.

“The State of our County is strong, not only because we’re meeting the immediate needs of our residents at a time of such great challenge, but also because we have our eyes on the future,” County Executive Pat Ryan said. “We are making generational investments that will position Ulster County as a national leader; a beacon of growth and dynamism that’s also committed to taking care of our most vulnerable. A community we can all be proud of.”


County Executive Ryan highlighted the following accomplishments, showing significant progress towards the County’s “Grow and Diversify Our Economy for All” initiative:

  • Developed comprehensive “Ulster 2040” strategy, outlining a series of immediate and long-term investments to guide and focus economic development by the County and its partner agencies. The report, adopted by the Ulster County Legislature, can be found here.  
  • After years of the former IBM site sitting stagnant, Ulster County started foreclosure proceedings, solicited proposals to redevelop the site, and eventually through a court-ordered settlement transferred the property to National Resources. Over the next five to ten years, National Resources expects to invest in excess of $200 million to improve and revitalize the site, which they believe will lead to the creation of up to 1,000 good-paying jobs for Ulster County residents.
  • Attracted a nation-leading marijuana company that will invest over $200 million and create over 400 good-paying jobs. The redevelopment of the former Schrade site would involve the construction of a new building dedicated to growing and cultivation, in addition to space for processing, production, packaging, distribution and administrative offices.
  • Continued to support Ulster County’s small businesses. Recently providing nearly $1 million in direct relief to 29 of our businesses across the county, with another $3 million allocated in the coming years. During the pandemic, Ulster County assisted businesses in receiving $8.2 million in Small Business Association (SBA) sourced loans during the first quarter of 2020 and over $120 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans in the first round of the program.

“As a small business owner, the County’s commitment to direct relief and support means businesses like mine can continue to grow and thrive here,” Chris Baker of Chicory Naturalist and CARES grant recipient said, “Ulster County is not only a great place to work but an amazing place to provide unique economic opportunities.”


County Executive Ryan highlighted the following accomplishments, showing significant progress towards the County’s “Ensure Justice for All Residents” initiative:

  • Developed a comprehensive Ulster County Housing Action Plan. The plan recommends immediate action steps including: the creation of an ongoing Housing Task Force to advise the County Legislature and County Executive on housing policy and partnerships with developers to build housing within the fabric of existing neighborhoods on vacant lots; adaptive reuse of existing structures for housing; and the creation of supportive and transitional housing.
  • Continued to press forward on an innovative plan that would redevelop the site of the former Ulster County Jail at Golden Hill and create 160 units of mixed income, intergenerational and workforce housing. The development will include a 5,000 square-foot community building, providing gathering and fitness space for residents and space for local community organizations to offer services. All buildings will be constructed to high efficiency levels, utilizing advanced electric heating and cooling technologies and incorporating rooftop solar.
  • Started a groundbreaking project at the former Quality Inn on Route 28 in the Town of Ulster to address the critical need to provide housing to those most vulnerable. The project will create 100 apartments with kitchen and other amenities, as well as wrap-around services including health and mental health care, career counseling and job training, childcare, and support for finding permanent housing. The first housing units at the new facility are expected to be available to begin meeting these needs by the Spring of 2022.

“Housing is one of the most important issues of our time, and we have seen the direct impact of housing insecurity on families and our community,” Rabbi Yael Romer of Congregation Emanuel and the Kingston Interfaith Council said. “Providing more housing will make a huge difference in the lives of so many, and we thank the Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan for his partnership in addressing this critical need.”

Mental Health and Addiction Recovery

County Executive Ryan highlighted the following accomplishments, showing significant progress towards the County’s “Tackle the Opioid Epidemic” initiative:

  • Embedded a full time social worker in Ulster County Mobile Mental Health, available to respond to 911 calls, and expanded the program through the 2022 budget to include additional communities. Residents who are experiencing a mental health crisis who call 911 will now be met with a trained trauma informed emergency response.
  • Declared a public health emergency due to the rise in deaths caused by fentanyl. This allowed Ulster County to focus efforts on aggressively targeting the gangs and drug dealers. 
  • Established the High-Risk Mitigation Team – which partnered with the Sheriff’s ORACLE team and assisted over 300 residents. A collaboration between ORACLE, Samadhi, Catholic Charities, People USA, Ellenville Regional Hospital, and the Ulster County Health and Mental Health Department, individuals who are at risk of overdosing are connected to a peer care navigator to track their treatment progress.
  • Through investments in the 2022 Executive Budget, Ulster County will re-establish a fully-functioning Mental Health Department, significantly bolster County-level investment in direct mental health services, and become one of the first counties in the State to build a Crisis Stabilization Center, enabling us to serve our residents in need 24/7.
  • Participated in a landmark statewide settlement agreement that will see Ulster County receive a maximum of $7,895,750 from Johnson & Johnson and other opioid companies. The settlement funds will be used as part of Ulster County’s continued effort to combat the opioid crisis.

“Ellenville Regional Hospital is proud to partner with Ulster County developing innovative approaches that improve health and mental health outcomes for our residents,” Ellenville Regional Hospital CEO Steve Kelly said. “The collaboration we have made in combating the opioid crisis, including the High Risk Mitigation Team, are impactful, have saved lives, and serve as models for tackling this problem throughout the country.  We look forward to continuing this important work together.”

Environment/Green New Deal for Ulster County

County Executive Ryan highlighted the following accomplishments, showing significant progress towards the County’s “A Green New Deal for Ulster County” initiative:

  • Ulster County became the first County in New York State and among the first in the nation to release a comprehensive Green New Deal plan. The report lays out an ambitious agenda over three critical areas to spur transformation across the Ulster County community. Each section is broken down by time frame into immediate efforts that will be launched this year, aggressive interim targets for 2025, and long-term transformative goals to reach by 2040.
  • Through the first Executive Order of his administration, committed Ulster County to use 100% renewable energy by 2030. The Executive Order includes an aggressive goal to supply 100% of the electricity consumed by the County’s buildings and fleet from locally-generated, renewable sources. 
  • Established the Ulster County Green Careers Academy, an eight-week training program, in partnership with SUNY Ulster, that will deliver the skills and expertise necessary to begin careers in the expanding clean technology industry. The Green Careers Academy will offer courses providing a solid foundation in clean technology, from basic energy-efficient building design principles to solar panel installations. Instructors are local, experienced professionals in the field of clean technology and are involved in growing the local clean technology community.
  • Selected as the Chair of the NYSAC Climate Resiliency Committee as a result of his leadership on environmental issues. The bipartisan committee is composed of officials in County positions most directly impacted by changes in the climate. Its membership comes from all regions of the state and work in diverse areas of County and State government. 

“It is exciting to see the progress the County has made toward achieving a Green New Deal for Ulster County,” Susan Gillespie of Citizens for Local Power said. “Building an equitable green economy that is locally based, bringing new green jobs and careers, thousands of energy retrofits of homes and businesses, community solar, and electric vehicles like the County's new buses are absolutely the directions we need to go to respond to the climate crisis. The County's Green New Deal empowers our communities to make the changes that are so vital now, and crucial for the next generation.”

Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan’s 2022 State of the County Address is available for viewing here.