Visions of business growth and home ownership
By STEVE DALEY
My vision for Sullivan County is based largely on the entrepreneurial spirit of America. Entrepreneurs are alive and well, and there is still room for more. Sullivan County is on the right track economically with new businesses opening and realtors offices buzzing. Just try and contact any type of home contractor. They seem to be very busy even now in the dead of winter.
My vision for the area would be to recruit fresh, business-minded people to sit on the zoning, planning and town boards to assess current and future needs and how those needs are being met. Boards need people with the common sense to allow good, strong companies to start businesses in our towns. We need to spend some time attracting well-paying manufacturing jobs or expanding the service sector. For example, contacting Toyota about building a plant in Sullivan County with access to the future I-86 and only two hours from millions of consumers.
When my wife and I moved to this area 18 years ago, we looked around and talked with people to see what was needed in the community and we acted on it. For example, we didnt want to drive 20 to 25 miles every time we wanted a pizza, so we opened a pizza place in town. Visioning is one of the most important tools of a business person. Look and listen to the area and the people. Our town of Narrowsburg, in my opinion, still has needs: a well-stocked hardware store, small-engine sales and service or an auto repair facility are three businesses I feel could be very successful here. With more homes being built in the county there may be more need for home security systems, landscapers or other service-oriented companies. People who have an affinity or desire for their own business need to look at the county and see what the needs are and what they may be in the future.
Steady growth with good planning will be key to the future. We must concentrate on putting our energy into developing a workforce that will be sustained for generations to come. Therefore, we will need affordable land and housing: homes that cost less than $150,000 so that a family earning about $50,000 a year can afford a 30-year, 6 percent mortgage. Current development of half -million dollar homes may help our tax base, but theyre almost always second homes. We need young families moving into our towns here in Sullivan County, not across the Delaware River into Pennsylvania. We need these people to shop locally in our supermarkets and eat at our local cafés every month of the year, not just in the summer.
More than ever, we need these families to keep our locals schools supported with a tax base that is made of real wage-earners, not million-dollar homeowners who may artificially drive up the per-capita wealth ratio in our towns.
Homes with no children attending our schools may mean the closure of some schools and will create economical and psychological voids in our communities.
My vision for Sullivan County is one that includes our children having a choice to return here after post-secondary education or service in the military and a Sullivan County where they can live and work and raise their own families.
[Steve Daley is a Narrowsburg resident who grew up in Valley Stream, Long Island. He is married and his three children currently attend the Narrowsburg Elementary, Jeff-Youngsville Jr. High and Lake Huntington High School. Steve is a graduate of SUNY Delhi and Ohio State University. He has been a successfully self-employed entrepreneur for 20 years.]
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