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County supervisors discuss rising utility rates, tourism, public health

Essex County Government Center, Elizabethtown

Essex County Government Center, Elizabethtown Photo by Andy Flynn.

For obesity, that could mean looking at menu plans in schools and encouraging healthy changes, she said, which could be something as simple as swapping out vending machines for a healthier alternative.

For private employers, it may be assisting staff in developing organizational policies and practices to maintain healthy decisions.

To combat chronic disease, the county aims to increase screening for those 40 and up without insurance and look at self-management opportunities that exist and promote opportunities that already exist.

Buehler said that ideally, the town supervisors will convey this information to their constituents and work with the county to create environments that are supportive of maintaining a healthy population.

“There are a lot of policy ways that local officials can to do affect health,” she said. “Where we live and work have a tremendous impact on our health and behaviors.”

TOURISM

While this winter has been rough due to the lack of sustained snowfall, the county is in a better position in facilitating tourism than in past years, said Jim McKenna, head of the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism, the agency that handles the county’s tourism outreach efforts.

McKenna was confident the region would benefit from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal in last week’s State of the State Address to bring destination resorts to the region to encourage economic growth.

The North Country Regional Economic Development Council was awarded over $1 million for region wide marketing initiatives, McKenna said.

Some of the components that will affect the region include a direct campaign to the French-Canadian market, motorcycle touring promotion, a targeted boating campaign to drive cruiser traffic from the Hudson River and the Great Lakes into Lake Champlain and the St. Lawrence River and a familiarization tour for international bloggers.

Economic Development Committee Chair Roby Politi (R-North Elba) said that towns have seen an uptick of searches on their online properties: overall website visits to the Schroon Lake region are up 24 percent since this time last year; visits to Lake Placid’s official site were up 33 percent for the same period and topped one million pageviews for the first time ever.

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