WILLSBORO Residents here will retain their local pharmacy. At a press conference on Feb. 6, Jim Bowen, president of Adirondack Apothecary LLC, announced that he will take over operations of Willsboros pharmacy from Kinney Drugs. The store will be known as Willsboro Pharmacy, returning to its former name. Kinney Drugs announced plans to close the store in December. Town officials, representatives of Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward and Smith House officials sought a replacement. The committee contacted several local independent pharmacies and Adirondack Apothecary emerged as the most viable option. The business currently operates stores in Moriah and Schroon Lake. Bowen said the pharmacy would concentrate its business on filling prescriptions, health and beauty products, and would return to having gifts and variety goods. We have a strong commitment to keeping rural, independent pharmacies alive in this Park, said Bowen. Bowen said he has a strong connection to the Willsboro area, having summered on Willsboro Point in his youth. His mother, Elsie Rand Bowen, was a Willsboro native. Smith House Health Center Administrator Robin Pierce welcomed the news, saying the Smith House would work with the Willsboro Pharmacy on a 340B Pharmacy program. The health center is seeking Federally Qualified Health Center Look-A-like (FQHCLA) status. The designation allows the center to work with a drug store to obtain discounted pharmaceuticals. Adirondack Apothecary is familiar with the program, having worked with Hudson Headwaters at its other locations. Whenever you have a health center in a community, its just a natural partnership to have a pharmacy, said Pierce. Willsboro Supervisor Bob Ashline served as a facilitator to help secure pharmacy service for the community. He said the pharmacy was important for the community, since the travel could be a trial for elderly residents. Ashline added Kinney officials had been working with the town, agreeing to remain open for an extra 90 days past the original announced closing date, although with limited hours. Kinney Drugs will close on March 23, and Bowen said he hoped to reopen after a very short delay, around March 28. Jennifer Olcott, a graduate of Elizabethtown-Lewis Central School, has been hired as the managing pharmacist of the Willsboro pharmacy. Olcott recently relocated back to the area from Seneca Falls, and was thrilled at the opportunity. Shes currently employed at Rite-Aid as a substitute pharmacist. When this came up when I moved back here, it felt like it was meant to be, said Olcott. She added the the pharmacy would have a real home town feel, and she looked forward to getting to know her customers. Most of the staff will remain on as the business. The agreement calls for a lease/purchase of the building from former Willsboro Pharmacy operator Leanna DeNeale. Bowen said he planned to operate the Willsboro store 9 a.m.-6 p.m., six days a week.