County approves contracts

JOHNSTOWN — Fulton County legislators on Tuesday approved the county Community Services Department’s proposed 2021 contracts for mental health/addition services.

The Board of Supervisors’ Human Services Committee supported approval, but contracts aren’t actually final until after the county’s 2021 budget is adopted later this year.

County Community Services Director Ernest Gagnon said the contracts are approved on an annual basis in order to maintain an “effective and efficient operation” of his Gloversville-based Community Services Department.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and state funding uncertainty, Gagnon said all contracts indicate that Fulton County is only responsible for passing along funding that it actually receives, Gagnon said.

Cuts of 20 percent were made to three state mental health agencies for the third and fourth quarters of 2020, impacting county contracts with funding being withheld by the state, he said.

“It is a withhold [to the county] and not a cut,” Gagnon said. “I have no way to know whether this will be a permanent cut through 2021.”

Gagnon passed along four pages of proposed 2021 contracts through the Community Services Department, including on-call services.

They included 100 percent funding from agencies such as the state Office of Mental Health and state Office of Alcohol Substance Abuse Services; as well as various mental health consultants.

Contracts for contracted agencies include the following proposed annual 2021 rates through Office of Mental Health funding: Catholic Charities of Fulton County — $50,000; Family Counseling Center — $465,000; Fulton Friendship House — $129,000; Lexington Center — $100,000; Mental Health Association —$403,000; National Alliance for the Mentally Ill — $2,200; St. Mary’s Hospital —$227,800.

OASAS funding proposed for 2021 includes: Fulton Friendship House — $270,000; Catholic Charities of Fulton County — $200,000; Alcoholism Council of Fulton Montgomery Hamilton Counties — $170,000; St. Mary’s Healthcare — $180,000.

Consultant contracts include an attorney service agreement, psychiatrist fees, and Glove City Taxi.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at [email protected]

By Paul Wager