By Alan Galowitz
When we came here seven years ago, this town was struggling. Once a rich agricultural center, it still was staggering from the devastation caused by the flooding of its best land under the Pepacton Reservoir. New York City got its much-needed water, but businesses and farms here failed. The population declined.
Those who remained in Andes showed an incredible spirit, trying to improve the town. It started with restoration of The Hunting Tavern Museum. New people in town as well as those whose families were here for many generations joined to improve their surroundings. The Bruce / Ballantine mansion was restored followed by many homes on Main Street. Now, with the newly acquired Ballantine Park and the library improved, it is fair to say that Main Street has been revived. This will be followed shortly by the groundbreaking of the Andes Streetscape Project. Streets and sidewalks are to be re-paved, some in the 19th century style of the recently restored homes and mansions. Led by Martin Donnelly, our Town Supervisor, we should remain in fast forward mode for a long time.
There is lots of civic pride and volunteerism in this town; The fire department, EMT squad, Andes Society for History and Culture, churches, library, and the Gazette all benefit from extensive volunteer effort.
There seems to be something missing, however, from these signs of progress. That gap could be filled with an influx of young, working families. Their children could fill our half-empty school. Their earnings could make possible the creation of more convenient retail establishments, now lacking. Most of all, their energy and enthusiasm would be welcome in our community. The well-being of our town ultimately depends upon the efforts of those living here. New taxpayers and the payrolls of new companies will help Andes to grow in ways that improve it as a place to live.
Recent advances in information technology have made it possible for many more corporate activities to be performed far away from large urban centers. This factor has made it easier for many large companies to do work in the relaxed and low-cost atmosphere of small towns like ours. A quick glance at your letters and packages will show that much business activity now comes from distant small towns that you never heard of. Andes would rank very high among them as a place to work and live.
Those who are involved in making decisions about the location of new workplaces for their companies should not overlook Andes. Many new businesses and branches of large corporations could surely take root and thrive here. If so, it would benefit them, and add to the prosperity of our community.
Some factors to be considered in choosing Andes as a new location are listed below:
- This is a good location for businesses that need a quiet and relaxing atmosphere. It is located in one of the most beautiful spots in New York State.
- Executives can find good values in homes here. There are often rentals available for homes and commercial space. Building sites are abundant.
- Highway travel is stress free, without traffic jams. Roads are well maintained all year around.
- The school is not crowded. It is well administered, with few of the problems encountered by urban schools.
- Andes is close enough to New York City for easy access, but not close enough to suffer from its congestion. It is about a 3 hour trip.
- Catskill streams and forests are famous for hunting and fishing. The Belleayre Ski Center is 1/2 hour from Andes.
- UPS, FedEx and other freight companies service Andes as well as the town’s U.S. Post Office.
- New York State can offer tax incentives and loans to companies wishing to locate in Andes.
- Martin Donnelly, our town supervisor, is available to any one wishing to discuss the advantages of locating a company in Andes.
- A drive to Albany Airport takes two hours. Its convenience beats large New York City airports. ~