Congressman Antonio Delgado [D-NY 19th] visited the Milton Train Station and the waterfront park on Monday afternoon. Supervisor Al Lanzetta, Councilman Howard Baker and others were able to show the Congressman how the town transformed a former oil depot and a 19th century train station into a recreational paradise for the residents of Marlborough.
Lanzetta showed Delgado the southern pier and highlighted the plans to fix it so large boats can tie up to allow visitors to take day trips to the local wineries, restaurants, bakeries and farm markets to name just a few of the area attractions.
Delgado also took a tour of the renovated 1883 Train Station that is on the National Register of Historic Places and is now a town community center. In the freight room Judy Clarke, President of the agricultural organization Meet Me in Marlborough, showed Congressman Delgado a timeline of the evolution of Marlborough, starting in the late 1600s.
Gail Hepworth spoke to Delgado about the importance of the farming community to the local economy and of the emerging hemp crop that a dozen farmers have planted for the first time this year. She, along with her sister Amy, have spearheaded a cooperative that presently has about 30 active members. She stressed that local farmers want to make the Hudson Valley a CBD region, “but we’re not turning into hemp farmers.” Cannabidiol is the oil extracted from the hemp plant and is used medically to treat anxiety and issues of cognition, movement disorders and to lessen pain.
Delgado said he is particularly interested in the farming community and in Washington he sits on the Committee on Agriculture, dealing with issues surrounding Biotechnology, Horticulture, Research, Commodity Exchanges, Energy and Credit.
“We have to do more to create localized distribution and marketing food promotion and farmers market programming. That is something that I am highly focused on and is a big area of interest for me,” he said.
Delgado has introduced a bill aimed at helping young farmers who carry a lot of debt.
“We want to make farming a public service so they can get their loans forgiven so they can acquire land for the purpose of farming,” he said.
Delgado said the new farm bill has legalized the growing of hemp but there are still roadblocks.
“The challenge is going to be the fact that the Food and Drug Administration and the United States Department of Agriculture haven’t provided a real clear regulatory framework to unleash the potential of the marketplace,” he said. “We’ve repeatedly sent letters to both agencies, pretty aggressively encouraging them to get the rules out sooner than later. My understanding is that there will be an interim who will rule before the end of this year, which will help provide some clarity for the markets. I certainly see a lot of value in this for our farmers and the markets and we want to do whatever we can to support that.”
Delgado was impressed with the effort the community has made at the Milton Landing Park.
“I think it’s great and the work they are doing is exciting. If they can get the investment here to have an actual landing park that folks come and enjoy, I think it is a wonderful opportunity that can bring tremendous growth to the area,” he said. “I think it’s important to the extent that we can remake these areas and tie our communities back to the Hudson River in a meaningful way.”
Supervisor Lanzetta invited the Congressman to town to have him see the proposed pier work and the Milton Landing area.
“It was a pleasure to see him; he’s a great guy and very knowledgeable,” Lanzetta said. “It’s another way to let politicians know we’re here. It was very informative and it was very gracious of him to stop by and talk to us.”