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July 23, 2021 - 9:06am

COVID-19 testing, OFA funding, SROs in two schools among resolutions forwarded to full legislature

As a result of three committee meetings this week, Genesee County legislators have much to vote upon when they meet as a full board next Wednesday.

Resolutions passed at Monday’s Human Services and Public Service meetings and Wednesday’s Ways & Means meeting that were not previously reported upon by The Batavian include the following:

  • $1.4 million for COVID-19 testing in schools

The New York State Department of Health has awarded the Genesee County Health Department funding in the amount of $1,415,984 for COVID-19 school testing activities and to purchase personal protective equipment for all public and private school pupils from Universal Pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.

Public Health Director Paul Pettit said the money can also be used for testing supplies and telehealth services for both students and faculty. Distribution of funds will be based on the population at each school, he added. The grant does not cover vaccination.

  • ARP funds to help spruce up OFA

This resolution calls for using $64,416 of more than $233,000 awarded through the American Rescue Plan for a capital project at the Genesee County Office for the Aging on Bank Street.

The project consists of reconfiguring and adding office space, carpeting and painting, replacing the dishwasher and garbage disposal, and adding other furnishings, equipment and subscriptions to enhance the client experience, OFA Director Diana Fox said.

The Human Services Committee also approved using some of the ARP money to fund two new positions at the OFA – a part-time program assistant and full-time financial clerk typist, both through Dec. 31, 2024 – and expand a part-time program assistant position from 15 hours biweekly to 19.5 hours biweekly, also through Dec. 31, 2024.

Two part-time vacant nutrition program meal site assistant positions were eliminated.

  • Radio system contract with L3 Harris is extended

The Public Service Committee recommended approval of an extension of the public safety radio system maintenance services contract with L3 Harris Technologies Inc., through Dec. 31, 2026, at a cost of $188,567 per year.

The agreement was set to expire on Dec. 31 of this year, but since the county will be adding a new tower site on Molasses Hill Road in Alexander, it was determined to extend it at this time.

Another resolution to accept $205,530 in grant funding from the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Office of Interoperable and Emergency Communication was approved. The money will be used to offset a portion of the 2021 Communications budget, according to Emergency Communication Director Steve Sharpe.

  • SROs to continue at Byron-Bergen, Pavilion

School Resource Officers will remain at Byron-Bergen and Pavilion central school districts for at least another year, with B-B opting for a September through August 2022 schedule at a cost of $102,813.81 and Pavilion going with a July through June 2022 schedule at a cost of $119,021.07.

Sheriff William Sheron said the difference in cost is due to one SRO having a single health insurance plan instead of a family plan. The cost to the schools include the hourly rate for a deputy sheriff, fringe benefits and insurances.

Public Service also approved a resolution to expend $10,757 from the K9 Donations Reserve Account to help in the recovery of K9 Rayzor, who recently suffered a leg injury and is need of physical therapy and medications before returning to service.

K9 Frankie also has had physical issues, but currently is fully functional, said Sheron, who thanked the public for donations to the fund, which has been depleted.

  • More funding for Justice for Children Advocacy Center

A grant from the state Office of Children and Family Services’ to fund the Justice for Children Advocacy Center has been renewed, with this year’s amount of $190,143 representing a $2,000 increase from last year.

Funds from this grant will enable the program to provide services for children and families affected by abuse in the Batavia, Warsaw and Albion areas, JCAC Coordinator Theresa Roth said.

  • ARPA funds to aid Genesee County Airport

Thirty-two thousand dollars in funding from the American Recovery Plan Act to offset expenses incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be coming to the Genesee County Airport.

Highway Superintendent Tim Hens said the money will be used to help pay down the debt service on the terminal and main hangar. Hens noted that the county is expected to receive about $100,000 in this type of funding by the end of the year, and all will be used in the same manner.

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