Employee assistance program may be coming to Essex County

— The Adirondack Regional Employees Assistance representative for New York state may be looking to move his office to Lewis.

Jim Monty, who holds the position for the state, met with members of the Essex County Board of Supervisors Jan. 28 to seek moving his offices from the DEC headquarters in Ray Brook to the Essex County Public Safety Building in Lewis.

In exchange, Monty would set up an employee assistance program for county workers at no charge to the taxpayers.

“We would develop coordinators at the county level that I would help train to help the employees of Essex County,” Monty said. “We have found that having this program can help save money. It reduces overtime, sick time, workers compensation costs. Morale tends to be better. I really think that the county could benefit tremendously from this program.”

Board chairman Randy Douglas said that he supported the idea.

“This is a fit that I think could work for the benefit of everybody,” Douglas said. “Reaching some sort of an agreement where there would be no costs to the county and we could give you the space would be beneficial for all sides.”

Monty said that his office would cover the office costs, including telephones and Internet access. They would also cover training for the program.

County attorney Daniel Manning asked Monty to get him a copy of a draft agreement that the county could look over and potentially approve before sending it on to the state.

“I think that we can have something together for this quickly,” Manning said.

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