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Local government will meet weighty challenges ahead

Monroe also called for the county leaders to move ahead on developing the Gaslight Village festival grounds in Lake George to help boost the county's occupancy tax revenue and boost the area economy.

"This property will provide much-needed space for large and small events, while providing protection for the water quality of the southern basin of Lake George," he said.

County officials were scheduled to meet Tuesday with representatives of the engineering firm Chazen Group to begin to develop a comprehensive plan for the festival space.

Monroe also welcomed two new department heads, Commissioner of Social Services Sheila Weaver and Emergency Services Director Brian LaFlure. He praised Weaver for cutting costs, and LaFlure for his experience and expertise.

Monroe also noted that President-Elect Barack Obama's Economic Stimulus Bill, which includes spending billions of dollars on national infrastructure rehabilitation, may offer substantial benefits to Warren County.

He observed that county leaders have submitted to U.S. Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand two major highway projects, seven bridge reconstruction projects, construction of the Mutual Aid Fire Training Center and court facilities expansion - all as high-priority projects for consideration under the federal stimulus plan. The projected cost of these projects totals $60 million, he said.

"If at least some of them are funded, they will provide a major boost to our infrastructure and our economy," he said.

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