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Highlights of the March 3rd, 2020 meeting of the Tompkins County Legislature

Updated: Mar 7, 2020

Legislators Endorse 2021-2027 Strategic Tourism Plan

The Legislature by a vote of 13-0 (Legislator Anna Kelles was excused) endorsed the 2021-2027 Strategic Tourism Plan, as developed by the Strategic Tourism Planning Board (STPB). The Plan establishes eight overall goals, and serves as a guide for future investments of monies collected through the hotel room occupancy tax. The goals for the next six years include: increasing the average overnight trip length by one night from 2-3 nights to 3-4 nights; increasing average visitor spending by 5% from $366 to $384 per day in established downtowns and villages; offering indoor and outdoor visitor programming year-round; increasing the share of new visitors from 24% to 30%; and increasing visual and physical access to Cayuga Lake through collaborative efforts with municipal and private stakeholders.

Legislator Martha Robertson (D-Dryden) praised the strategic plan, calling it “a thoughtful way of using tourism dollars in our community.”

Contact: Anna Kelles, Chair of Housing and Economic Development Committee, 607-342-2036;

Nick Helmholdt, Department of Planning & Sustainability, 607-274-5560

Young Entrepreneur Honored with Distinguished Youth Award

A 10-year old Groton Elementary School student was recognized by the Legislature with the Distinguished Youth Award. Hudson Scaglione is a three-time author and small business owner. He donates 20% of the profits from ‘Hudson’s Sauces and Goodies’ to his school for various projects. This year the money will go toward construction of a trout tank at Groton Elementary School, which will hatch trout eggs to be placed by students in local streams in the spring. Hudson also produces YouTube videos on cooking.

The Distinguished Youth Award is sponsored by the Tompkins County Legislature, Bang’s Ambulance, Purity Ice Cream and Cayuga Radio Group.

Contact: Legislator Glenn Morey, 607-898-3292

Among other business:

  • Legislature Chair Leslyn McBean-Clairborne read a proclamation declaring March to be Agriculture Month in Tompkins County. The proclamation recognizes and celebrates the diversity and abundance provided by the 33,400 farms in New York State and the $5.4 billion contributed to the State’s economy by the agricultural industry each year.

  • Legislature Chair McBean-Clairborne appointed a special committee, the Tompkins Inter-Governmental Relations Committee, to help lobby at the state level on the Legislature’s behalf.

  • Legislator Martha Robertson (D-Dryden) will chair the committee, and Legislator Mike Sigler (R-Lansing) will be its vice chair.

  • County Administrator Jason Molino announced Public Health Director Frank Kruppa will be heading to Albany later this week for a meeting with his counterparts from around the state on the ever-evolving coronavirus situation. The Health Department continues to maintain the risk to individuals in Tompkins County is low, and residents are urged to exercise the same precautions as they would to guard against the flu - stay home if you are sick, cover your cough & sneezes and wash your hands frequently. More information is available at


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