City Fourth Ward Supervisor Charles Potter and Sen. James Tedisco came to meet with about 30 residents and serve up some homemade soup Potter created and some fresh baked bread from Al’s Pizzeria. The duo served the food tableside, taking residents’ orders of either chicken noodle or pasta fagioli.
Potter said he wanted to give residents a chance to have a sense of community and chance speak with their representatives.
He said he also wanted to give Fulton County Director of Public Health Irina Gelman and Fulton County Office of the Aging Director Andrea Fettinger a chance to address a variety of concerns with residents.
Potter spoke with residents about Fulton County issues, including county tax rate and the Vireo Health medical marijuana facility in Johnstown and the money it brings in to the area. He spoke about the occupancy tax that will see the money raised go toward tourism initiatives.
“We have a lot going on,” Potter said.
Potter said the Smart Waters agreement is moving along, including ongoing work in the Hales Mills Road area to bring water for future development.
“We’ve created additional revenue streams,” Potter said.
Tedisco spoke with residents about recent state developments and efforts being made on various topics, including the recent $223,878 grant secured for the Gloversville Public Library. He said that when he was elected, retiring Sen. Hugh T. Farley encouraged him to get on the library subcommittee.
“If kids are our future, their education is a big part of their future,” Tedisco said.
He said the Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage program has seen monetary expansion in the program and new income levels. He said the state is also working on the Elderly Dental Insurance Coverage program aimed at seniors. He said it would feature a sliding scale based on income to help take care of some of the costs.
“Pharmaceutical cost a lot, but have you been to the dentist lately and seen how much they cost, especially when you’re a senior,” Tedisco said.
Tedisco said that as a member of the Heroin and Opioid Senate Task Force, they are working on a three-pronged plan to combat the epidemic — education for youth to prevent usage, getting big dealers of the street and getting treatment.
He said he is working on several opioid-related things, including seeing increased penalties for people who disposed of used needles in an unsafe manner and a bill which would include a provision that would see those convicted to prison terms receive treatment.
“It is not just penalizing these people, it also provides mandated treatment for that,” Tedisco said.
During the event, residents presented Tedisco with a petition asking him to do something about a fee the state assigns bingo games. The petition asked the state to do away with the $18.75 fee charged for small bingo games.
About 15 residents take part in the games weekly, but they have not been holding them as often because they can’t afford it.
Tedisco said this is an issue he will be looking into. He said he would seek to exempt senior facilities, such as the ones in the towers.
“I don’t think we want to live in a state where we can’t allow 15 senior citizens to play bingo in the facility that they live in,” Tedisco said.
Also during the event, Gelman spoke with residents about summer health issues affecting seniors. Gelman spoke with seniors about staying hydrated in the summer months, especially those who are taking medications, and the importance of wearing sunscreen daily.
This summer is shaping up to be an especially bad one for ticks, according to Gelman.
“This has been the year for ticks, if I may say so. We have received a number of reports,” Gelman said.
Fettinger talked about the OFA and the services it provides for seniors.
Fettinger said the OFA is looking to work with the Kingsboro Towers Tenant Association to have someone from the OFA come to the tower monthly at various events.
“We want to start having programs here and making sure you are in the loop. We want to make sure you are getting your needs met, just as much as anyone around the county,” Fettinger said.
Fettinger said this year’s coupon booklets for the farmer’s markets around the county will be brought to the Gloversville Housing Authority towers instead of having the residents come into the office to get them. This announcement elicited verbal excitement from the residents.
Kerry Minor can be reached at email@example.com.