08/02/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Big Trouble in Little Fishkill: The Ramifications of a Financial Meltdown

Big Trouble in Little Fishkill:  The Ramifications of a Financial Meltdown  

By Michael Boyajian  

Most residents of the scenic Hudson Valley Town of Fishkill vote Republican without a second thought taking great pride in the fact that their Republican Town Supervisor Joan Pagones organized some local Teaparty events last year.  

Little did these residents know that the Town was on a spending spree culminating in the construction of a new town recreation center paid for by a bond issue for $3.6 million that may have never been put to a public vote built on land provided by developers.  The adjacent police station was also paid for by a bond issue for $5.4 million that might also have never been put to a public vote.  All built on a taxpayer funded credit card that has now landed the town in hot water.  

You see the Poughkeepsie Journal has reported that Moody's has just downgraded the Town's financial rating from A1 to Baa3 for missing a debt payment.  According to Wikipedia this makes it a step above junk bond status.  This leads one to wonder what the fiscal conservative Teabagger crowd has to say about this financial hick up that has put the town in a deep money hole.  

Rather than wait for the ramifications from voters the Town seems to be trying to dig out by bending over backwards for the benefit of developers and business interests going ahead with a number of building plans that will add unwanted traffic to the already congested streets of this small town.   

There was also a stir up between the Friends of the Fishkill Supply Depot involving a local restaurant that dug a trench for septic purposes on some land that may have had historic artifacts buried there dating to the Fishkill Supply Depot a Revolutionary War site that is New York's Valley Forge.  It was not clear whether or not the Town gave clearance to this excavation by the restaurant.  

Unfortunately most of the Fishkill Supply Depot site has been developed but for a few parcels of land one of which is adjacent to the restaurant.  This is where the graves of approximately a thousand Revolutionary War soldiers were recently found putting a stop to the plans of developers and drawing the interest and support for preservation of Senator Chuck Schumer who is trying to protect the land under the Battlefield Protection Act.  

So the town is caught between its need for more development and the desire of many to protect the sacred land of what remains of the Fishkill Supply Depot.  Do preservationists have public support?  Well let's just say on Memorial Day Weekend men and women of all political stripes along with local scouts and Board members of both the Friends of the Fishkill Supply Depot and the Fishkill Historic Society gathered on the Depot land to put their backs into covering up the archaeological dig site with soil for preservation purposes and to hold a ceremony there honoring America's first fallen heroes.


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