Red Cross requests $30K as line item contribution in Essex County's budget

ELIZABETHTOWN At the weekly meeting of the Essex County Board of Supervisors on Monday, Aug. 27, the Ways and Means Committee heard an impassioned request from Eileen Reardon, executive director of the Adirondack Saratoga chapter of the American Red Cross, for $30,000 in support from Essex County.

Reardon asked that the support come as a line item in the countys upcoming proposed budget for 2008.

Currently, the Adirondack Saratoga Chapter (which serves Warren, Washington, Saratoga, Hamilton, and southern Essex County) and the North Country Chapter (serving Clinton and Franklin Counties and 13 northern townships in Essex County) are supported solely by individual, group, and corporate contributions.

The United Way had been a large contributor, but, as Reardon pointed out, As recently as four years ago, the United Way contributed $100,000 a year to the North Country Red Cross. Now we receive nothing.

Local chapters of the Red Cross also get no federal support.

Reardon told the board that she would be making the same proposal to Hamilton and Washington counties, and currently has a proposal out to Warren and Saratoga counties for $25,000 to come from their annual budgets.

As an example of the costs involved for a mid-size emergency, Reardon said that, at an average cost of $285 per volunteer, and 12 volunteers needed for every hundred people that would need sheltering, costs mount up quickly.

Reardon pointed out that any funding that comes from Essex County would go 100 percent toward emergencies in Essex County.

Elizabethtown Supervisor Noel Merrihew moved that the supervisors include Reardons proposal in the budget for the upcoming year; his resolution was unanimously supported by the board.

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