Sullivan County declared free of fiscal stress and more

What's new in the Upper Delaware region October 14 to 20

Posted 10/13/21

Bipartisan bill supports agriculture education opportunities in local schools

RHINEBECK, NY — On October 7, U.S. Reps. Antonio Delgado (NY-19) and Glenn “G.T.” Thompson (PA-15), …

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Sullivan County declared free of fiscal stress and more

What's new in the Upper Delaware region October 14 to 20

Posted

Bipartisan bill supports agriculture education opportunities in local schools

RHINEBECK, NY — On October 7, U.S. Reps. Antonio Delgado (NY-19) and Glenn “G.T.” Thompson (PA-15), ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee, introduced the Growing Opportunities in Agriculture (GO Ag) Act. This bipartisan bill would provide resources to help local schools start agricultural education programs. Under the GO Ag Act, grants are available to secondary schools to cover startup costs, curriculum development, teacher salaries, equipment, lab costs and more.

“Farming is a time-honored upstate tradition that should be passed from generation to generation,” said Delgado. “I’m proud to introduce the GO Ag Act with my Republican colleague to give schools the necessary resources for agriculture education. These programs can spark an interest in an agricultural career and help students become informed about our food systems.”

Pharmacies need help

ORANGE COUNTY, NY — State Sens. Mike Martucci (R,C,I-Hudson Valley/Catskills) and James Skoufis (D-Hudson Valley) called on Gov. Kathy Hochul on October 7 to sign the Pharmacy Rescue Bills. This package of legislation includes four bills strongly supported by the Pharmacists Society of the State of New York and local pharmacists in both senators’ districts. All four bills passed the state Senate and Assembly with wide, bipartisan support.

The bills include S3762, which relates to pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) regulation; S3566, which relates to the purchase of prescription drugs; S4807, which expands the immunization authorization of pharmacists; and S6603, which protects access to pharmacy services. Skoufis is the sponsor of S6603 and a co-sponsor of S3762 and S4807. Martucci is a co-sponsor of all four bills. The bills now await the governor’s signature to become law.

Wolf administration announces federal funding for child welfare systems

HARRISBURG, PA — On October 7, the Wolf Administration announced Pennsylvania’s full implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act, which prioritizes providing services to children and families in the least restrictive manner and with their families as much as is safely possible.

The Family First Prevention Services Act give states the option of using federal funds to administer their child welfare systems differently—and for the first time to utilize federal funding that supports certain evidence-based mental health prevention and treatment, substance use prevention and treatment, and in-home parenting skill-based programs.

These programs are delivered to eligible children, youth and families to help prevent the placement of a child into out-of-home care. In the event that placement outside the home occurs, the law directs federal funding toward family-like settings or other specialized settings that are best suited to a child’s individual needs.

Fritz comments on fossil fuel infrastructure

HARRISBURG, PA — Rep. Jonathan Fritz (R-Susquehanna/Wayne) issued the following statement regarding the cancellation of the PennEast Pipeline:

“To say that I am extremely disappointed in the loss of this major investment opportunity is an understatement... This is not a win for our Commonwealth nor its residents, it is a devastating loss of opportunity. I have always maintained that environmental stewardship and economic development are not mutually exclusive. Many other states have found that balance. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania and some neighboring states allow fringe activist groups to hijack the debate. I very much look forward to a time when balance and reason are restored in our Commonwealth.”

Utilities preparing for consumer demand during winter

ALBANY, NY — The New York State Public Service Commission announced on October 7 that it expects the state’s utilities will have adequate supplies of natural gas and electricity on hand to meet the demands of residential and commercial customers in the state.

The Department of Public Service has a program in place to ensure that customers receive the information and assistance they need. The outreach and education efforts include publications in multiple languages about billing and payment options, financial assistance programs and winter preparedness measures to help with winter bills, and the steps to take if customers are faced with heating-related energy emergencies.

This winter’s electricity prices statewide are projected to be higher than last winter, although commodity prices can vary significantly due to weather and other conditions. While gas bill impacts will vary by utility, natural gas bills in general are also projected to be higher than last year; nationwide, commodity price forecasts are higher this year compared to last winter. On average, a residential customer using 600 kWh per month is expected to pay about $43 per month for supply, but the actual amount varies by utility. Meanwhile, the average residential customer using 740 therms of natural gas can expect to pay about $935 from November through March, up from last winter, which was milder than normal. This amount will vary by utility and weather.

Sullivan County declared free of fiscal stress

MONTICELLO, NY — For the sixth year in a row, the New York State Comptroller’s Office has designated Sullivan County free of fiscal stress.

The office recently released its 2020 Fiscal Stress rankings for municipalities and school districts statewide, based on the annual financial reports submitted to the comptroller’s office. Sullivan County again scored well, earning the best rank of “No Designation,” which means there are no indications that the county is susceptible to fiscal stress at this time.

“This latest report shows we continue to maintain county government’s fiscal stability,” Sullivan County Manager Josh Potosek said. “And for the first time, we also received ‘No Designation’ for environmental stress, meaning prospects look good for the county continuing that stability.”

Child care available at SUNY Sullivan

LOCH SHELDRAKE, NY — If getting back to work means finding daycare, there’s another option available.

The Healthy Kids Early Child Learning Program at SUNY Sullivan has extended enrollment to children of Sullivan County residents. Limited spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis to the on-campus childcare center, which opened in June and is run in partnership with the Healthy Kids Program.

Healthy Kids has operated child care programs since 2003 in over 60 public schools and 19 counties. Their early learning classrooms offer sensory work, reading, art, manipulatives, dramatic play and more.

The program is open to children aged three to five years who are not eligible for kindergarten. Kids can attend full- or part-time, and childcare is available during all on-campus class times.

Those eligible can use the link below to register their child(ren) for daycare. Space is limited so sign up quickly.

If you have questions regarding the program, email the director of the program, Laura Lyness, at laura@healthykidsprograms.com.

The registration link is: www.healthykidsprogramsearlylearning.com/sunysullivanregistration.

Cleaning up the river: Deerpark and Lumberland check off projects as completed

NARROWSBURG, NY – The Towns of Deerpark and Lumberland recently completed their projects under the Upper Delaware Council’s 2021 River and Shoreline Clean-up Grants.

Since initiating the grant program in 2014, the UDC has awarded $37,006.71 to participating member municipalities as an investment of the council’s operating funds to help keep the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River and its pristine banks, according to a statement

The Town of Deerpark focused efforts on the Hawk’s Nest area of the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway, on New York State Route 97, a much-photographed winding hillside route which offers sweeping views from two hundred feet above the river.

The town highway department conducted three multi-day sweeps following the holidays of Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day to pick up debris along a 2.9-mile section from the beginning of Rt. 97 to the Lumberland town line. Actual expenses for labor, transportation, supplies, and disposal fees was $3,973.90.

The Town of Lumberland hired contractor Ann Steimle of Glen Spey to collect trash every other week during the summer along the town’s riverbanks, from Camp Tel-Yehudah to the Mongaup River Access at the Deerpark border, for $1,100.

The UDC had solicited proposals on March 25 with an April 23 deadline. The completion deadline to request reimbursement was September 20.

Visit www.upperdelawarecouncil.org to learn more about the bi-state nonprofit organization and its activities.

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