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Alan Diaz, Associated Press  

Boats pass by on the coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Iram in Big Pine Key on the Florida Keys. It could be months before residents of Texas and Florida can rebuild.

Community service organizations reach out

GLENS FALLS — Community organizations may be so focused on their own programs their staffs don’t know what else is available in the community.

The purpose of the first Community Resource Day held Wednesday at Cool Insuring Arena was to solve that problem by bringing together about 60 nonprofit groups from Warren, Washington and northern Saratoga counties. Fidelis Care sponsored the event.

Tyler Whitney, director of navigation services for Southern Adirondack independent Living, said the Intra-agency Council, SUNY Adirondack Community Hub, Washington County Action Angels and Fidelis Care joined forces on the project.

Whitney said a lot of the participating agencies are unfamiliar to the public and sometimes even to representatives from other agencies, as they do not have extensive marketing budgets.

“We’re getting a lot of positive feedback about the organizations that are here,” he said.

Ethan Brochu, office assistant for the Family Service Association of Glens Falls, explained the various services his organization offers, including helping people with rent, clothing and food. A special project the organization does is “Feet First.”

“We try to get kids shoes for the upcoming school year,” he said.

The organization will be conducting an “adopt a family” program the week of Oct. 9.

Brochu is new to his position, and he said the fair was a good opportunity for him to get familiar with the other agencies.

“It’s a great networking event,” he said.

Organizations were able to showcase new initiatives. For example, ECS Psychological Services was informing people it has had a South Glens Falls office open for about six months in addition to its offices in Saratoga Springs. ECS offers counseling for adolescents, children, adults, families and couples.

“Since we’re new to South Glens Falls, we’re making connections to see what’s up here,” said therapist Kellie Macura.

Stacey Barcomb, Washington County Care navigator, said the Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiver Support Initiative provides free assistance for caregivers who need a break and free radio bands for people at risk of wandering off.

“There is no financial requirement — just be in Washington or Warren County,” she said.

Kate Kotfila of Cambridge United Community Center said she found the fair helpful.

“Many of the groups have wonderful programs that either aren’t known or would be helpful to have a satellite location,” she said.

Warren County agrees to 'loan' for SUNY Adirondack culinary project

QUEENSBURY — Warren County leaders have agreed to “loan” up to $1 million to SUNY Adirondack so the college can create a new culinary arts center, but some county supervisors are getting concerned about increased funding requests from the college.

The county board’s Finance Committee agreed Tuesday to advance the college money to create the new culinary center, which will be built at an undetermined site in Glens Falls, with the understanding the college repay the funds when it receives a $1 million grant pledged by the state.

SUNY Adirondack President Kristine Duffy told county supervisors late last month the college cannot take on debt, so it needs to find a funding source to get the project going. The Board of Supervisors had the county attorney’s office and treasurer review the proposal, and both offices found the arrangement was feasible.

First Assistant County Attorney Mary Elizabeth Kissane told supervisors the county can’t legally loan money to the college, but can instead call the funding a “sponsorship” that will be paid back. She said the county undertook a similar arrangement with SUNY Adirondack in 2007 for a different project.

County Treasurer Michael Swan said the county would not advance $1 million, but would pay bills for the work as they come in, with the college paying the money back when grant funding comes in.

The full Board of Supervisors will consider the funding request at its meeting Friday. Some supervisors expressed concern about the possibility state funding will fall through, as the county is awaiting state reimbursement for a number of projects that go back several years.

“What if they don’t get the grant?” Lake George Supervisor Dennis Dickinson asked.

“Then we are out $1 million,” Swan responded.

The money will come from the county’s fund balance.

Although supervisors approved the arrangement, some expressed concern about continued requests for money from college leaders.

College leaders asked last week for more operational funding from Warren and Washington counties, a request that is pending. The two counties have contributed nearly $8 million in support for the college’s recent project to put in nursing, science, technology, engineering and math facilities.

Lake Luzerne Supervisor Gene Merlino said he supports the college’s mission.

But, he asked, “When are we going to stop? It’s put a lot on our taxpayers in Warren County.”