Douglas, Bartley, Ferebee head to Washington

Trio to seek federal funding

Keene Supervisor William "Bill" Ferebee

Keene Supervisor William "Bill" Ferebee Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— Three members of the Essex County Board of Supervisors will head to Washington, D.C., this weekend for three days with local representatives.

Essex County Board of Supervisors Chairman and Jay Supervisor Randy Douglas will be joined by Keene Supervisor William Ferebee and Elizabethtown Supervisor Margaret Bartley on a trip that will run from Sunday, March 4, through Wednesday, March 7.

The trio will be meeting with Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, along with Congressmen Bill Owens and Chris Gibson.

“We get between 30 and 45 minutes with each representative, and they make the time to meet with us while we are down there,” Douglas said. “It is a lobbying effort that has been very effective in bringing funding back to the North Country.”

Both Douglas and Ferebee said that the have seen both the county and their towns benefit from the meetings.

“I have received $3.6 million for the town and our Water District No. 2 project,” Ferebee said. “Our main focus is getting funding for other water and sewer projects throughout the county and for the town, I definitely want an answer from FEMA on the Keene Fire Department funding.”

Bartley said that her focus was on one of the Elizabethtown sewer project, which has become a semi-partnership with Essex County.

“This will be a great example of county and town government working together to help build the infrastructure of a community which will then lead to economic growth and job development,” Bartley said. “This is a great test case, and Elizabethtown will be a great example of how infrastructure brings growth.”

“These water and sewer projects along with more funding for Irene recovery are the biggest issues,” Douglas said. “We have been very successful on our trips and I think that we can bring more awareness to these needs this time down.”

Ferebee said that he also hopes to talk with the representative, especially Congressman Gibson, about the need for a full-time doctor at the VA Clinic in Westport.

“He is my representative and a veteran,” Ferebee said. “That will be my focus when I talk with him. Our concern is getting a more dependable source of medical care when it comes to having a doctor that will be here on a long-term basis.”

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