This story has been updated.
COLD SPRING, N.Y. -- Presidential candidate George Pataki of Garrison had to skip a groundbreaking ceremony for a new senior housing and retail project in Philipstown on Wednesday for family reasons.
Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell confirmed that Pataki's daughter, Emily, gave birth overnight to a son named Patrick Arthur. Pataki, a native of Peekskill, has several other grandchildren.
The redevelopment of the former Julia D. Butterfield Hospital site attracted other prominent local residents, however, including Fox News President Roger Ailes and his wife, Elizabeth, publisher of the Putnam County News & Recorder.
Former Riverkeeper John Cronin, who lives across the street from the property, praised Pataki "as the best environmental governor,'' rattling off land preservation and cleanup projects that the Republican played a major role in: passage of a state environmental bond act, the New York City Watershed agreement and the closure of Croton Point Landfill.
Developer Paul Guillaro's project will provide a new park and municipal services along with 31,000-square-feet of retail and office space and 55 market-rate luxury housing units for senior residents.
Putnam County has the fastest growing senior citizen population of any county in New York state.
"This October 15, I'm eligible for the 55 and over'' housing, Odell said. "And Beth (Ailes), you'll be right behind me."
The ceremony included dedication of “Pataki Park” in honor of the former Peekskill mayor for his environmental stewardship and preservation of more than a million acres of open space in New York state when he was governor.
The dedication of the “Roger Ailes Senior Center” was in honor of Roger and Elizabeth “Beth” Ailes' $500,000 gift to create a community center for senior citizens in Putnam County. On Thursday, LoHud.com reported that some county legislators are questioning whether the leased center can be named after Ailes, since Putnam County law forbids naming public facilities after someone until five years after their death.
The ceremony, under a tent behind the old hospital, was led by Guillaro, and attended by more than 100 people including senior citizens as well as state and county legislators. Putnam County Sheriff Donald Smith remembered veterans and fallen firefighters and law enforcement officers before leading the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mindy Krazmien, executive director of the Putnam History Museum, thanked Guillaro for preserving a 1941 cornerstone from a hospital addition, which was unearthed during construction. Workers also found an Oct. 23, 1941, edition of the Putnam County Recorder, which Guillaro gave to Beth Ailes.
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