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Board of Supervisors Hear Creek, Heroin News

Written By Editor on 12/16/16 | 12/16/16

The Schoharie County Board of Supervisors held its regular meeting earlier today to discuss several major issues.

After approval of the minutes, Eileen Fisher took the floor. The County Veteran’s Service Officer presented to the board, announcing that Schoharie will become a Purple Heart County. She read a resolution, “honoring the service and sacrifice” of past and present armed servicemembers. Supervisor Anthony VanGlad of Gilboa motioned that the board adopt the resolution, which was approved unanimously.

Joe Filippone of Catholic Charities presented about the area’s heroin issues. Filippone works alongside the Opioid Task Force, with the Schoharie County Council on Alcohol and Substance Abuse as a leader. Filippone discussed Project Safe Point, which aims to dispose of old needles and prevent infectious diseases by distributing new needles. He said that the group’s goal is to help treat individuals using heroin before addiction sets in. “When you’re in that place where you’re injecting drugs, your addiction is pretty deep seated,” He said that an immediate program to exchange needles in Indiana stopped the spread of an HIV epidemic. “They’re going to inject drugs either way,” he said. Filippone added that similar programs across the country did not lead to increases in drug use.

Supervisor McAllister began the Finance Committee report, with a resolution to purchase several items, mostly covered by grant funding. There was a resolution to authorize the County to enter into a PILOT extension with Tennessee Gas Pipeline for another fifteen years.

McAllister also brought up a recommendation for the county EMS services to be able to accept payments from individuals. EMO head Mike Hartzell reported that in some cases people send payments to the County for deductibles that currently are sent back. The Board approved the change unanimously.

Members of the Board discussed a proposal to put in LED lighting to facilities. Similar proposals are in the process in different towns across the county. There was concern about whether or not there would be an up front cost to such a project. Some towns received lights with no up front costs while others have been asked to contribute.

Supervisor Sandra Manko thanked the Planning Department for several actions, including Alicia Terry attending a beer conference. Shane Nickle aided with grant projects. She motioned to set a public hearing January 20th on the draft Schoharie County Agricultural plan. She also motioned to sign a contract with GPI regarding the Schoharie County trail project. Administrator Steve Wilson said that expenses would be covered by grant funding. These were both accepted unanimously.

She also referenced $2.9 million in grants for 11 projects, “This is great news for Schoharie County,” she said. Chair Earl VanWormer said that the County was “gaining” and that he and the County Administrator will be aggressive in seeking more grants, and hopes to double the amount next year. Supervisor Tague thanked Wilson and Nickle. He also said that one of the grants was for the Central Bridge wastewater treatment plant. “We want to make Central Bridge great again,” he said. Bradt brought up that $1 million was for a privately-held hotel in Sharon. “I hope this doesn’t turn into another Maranatha,” he said. Wilson said that the lack of a strategic economic plan is hurting its grant funding chances and that he is working with others to complete one.

The Board will be holding its reorganizational meeting on January 3rd, 2018 at 3pm at the Supervisors’ meeting room.
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