WATERTOWN — On Tuesday, the Jefferson County Finance and Rules Committee continued its presentations from authorized agencies, the outside organizations that receive funding from the county.

The committee has been hearing presentations from all the authorized agencies since the beginning of the year, learning about the work of the agencies and how the county funding is used.

Committee members heard first from Melinda Gault, executive director of the Community Action Planning Council.

“Last fiscal year we served about 6,000 unduplicated individuals,” she told them.

The largest program from the CAPC is Head Start. The agency also runs a pre-kindergarten program, child care, the Family Center and housing and energy services. CAPC helps with everything from income tax assistance to vocational training, weatherization and fair housing.

The CAPC employs 189 people and has a budget of $7.8 million annually. She said the assistance from the county helped with the local match of 25 percent on many of the grants that allow the CAPC to function. Of the roughly $700,000 local match they need annually, $160,000 comes from the county.

“That’s it in a nutshell,” Ms. Gault said.

“That’s a pretty big nutshell,” said Committee Chairmen Michael A. Montigelli.

Legislators also heard from Sam Purington, executive director of the Volunteer Transportation Center, which evolved from a more general volunteer coordination organization.

“They found out that the need in our community was rides,” Mr. Purington said.

The organization uses volunteer drivers with their own vehicles to give rides to doctor appointments, grocery shopping and elsewhere. Drivers, many of them retired themselves get milage reimbursed at a per-mile rate and get to help their neighbors in Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Lewis counties.

“Every day our offices here in Watertown are processing over 800 trips here in the north country,” Mr. Purington said.

Finally, legislators heard from Burnie V. Haney of the Sports Fishery Advisory Board.

“I found out we’re the best kept secret in Jefferson County,” Mr. Haney said.

The organization is small, founded in 1980 with a goal to encourage sport fishing. It contributes annually to advertising for local fishing derbies, supports a few charter boat captains that take kids out on introductory fishing trips and print creel cards with daily catch limits. All told, the total cost is $1,200 to $1,300 annually.

Mr. Haney said a major issue the board was concerned with was allowing catch and release fishing of black bass outside the open season, an issue he said would bring more fishing revenue to the county.

In other business, the committee approved a memorial minute for former Legislator James D. St. Croix, Sr.

The committee also approved a $30,000 transfer from the contingency account to the real property tax refund, which pays back taxes that are reduced. According to the resolution, the fund had been reduced and needed to be replenished to cover the rest of the year.

All committee votes have to be approved by the full Board of Legislators before they take effect.

The Gist of It

n AUTHORIZED AGENCIES: The Jefferson County Finance and Rules Committee heard presentations from the Community Action Planning Council, Volunteer Transportation Center and Sports Fishery Advisory Board

n TAX FUND: The committee also approved a transfer to a fund for paying back property taxes challenged and reduced by residents

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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I cover federal, state and local politics as it relates to the north country

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