Senator Bonacic And Assemblyman Crouch Announce Funding For Community Projects

John J. Bonacic

October 16, 2006

O'Connor Hospital, the Catskill E-Center, the West Branch Recreation and Aquatic Center, and SUNY Delhi will all receive funding under the State's Community Capital Assistance Program, State Senator John Bonacic and Assemblyman Clifford Crouch said today.

$300,000 worth of improvements will be made to finish the Catskill E-Center and also help SUNY Delhi place its water testing lab center in the E-Center. The E-Center, which is nearly complete, is expected to open in the next three to six weeks. It is being built on the edge of the Village of Delhi. It will house start-up businesses, a technology center for training purposes, and SUNY Delhi's water testing lab. The E-Center and Water testing lab were initiated by Senator Bonacic, Assemblyman Crouch, Congressman Sweeney, Delaware County Chamber of Commerce President Mary Beth Silano, SUNY Delhi President Candace Vancko, and Delaware County Economic Developer Glenn Nealis.

O'Connor Hospital will receive $100,000 to purchase new equipment for its emergency room. Senator Bonacic earlier this year secured funding for Delaware County's two other hospitals - Delaware Valley and Margaretville.

O'Connor officials say they expect to use the funding to purchase equipment relating to stroke and cardiac emergency response equipment. "Keeping our rural hospitals strong, and ensuring they have up to date equipment is essential to serving the public. This funding will go a long way in our Emergency room," said O'Connor's Board Chairman Peter Hamilton.

Currently a Commission is reviewing the number of hospitals across the State and the services each hospital provides to determine what, if any, changes should be made to the State's healthcare delivery system. "Healthcare in rural areas is not like healthcare in urban areas. We might have three hospitals to serve 50,000 people, but the drive between those hospitals can be more than a 1/2 an hour depending on the weather. We need all our hospitals and we need to support them with State aid," Senator Bonacic said.

The West Branch Recreation and Aquatic Center, the official name for a group of several dozen local residents who are working to build an Olympic size pool for families and children who live in Meredith, Delhi, Andes, and Bovina. The pool will be open to the public. An area business leader, Scott Clark, has already agreed to donate $50,000 to help with the pool fund. Bonacic and Crouch today announced that a $50,000 grant would be provided by the State to match the Clark grant. Delhi Town Supervisor Peter Bracci and Delhi Village Mayor David Truscott have written letters in support of the pool.

Assemblyman Crouch said, "This funding will improve the lives of the people of Delaware County. Each of the groups and organizations selected to receive funding make a real impact in this area."

Senator Bonacic concluded, "State taxpayers deserve value for their tax dollars. Bringing this money back to Delaware County means we can help complete important community projects and improve the quality of life in our communities. Positive things are happening in Delaware County thanks to good partnerships and involved local leaders. I look forward to seeing these projects come to fruition and will continue to be supportive of projects here and in all communities across Delaware County."