OFA receives $27K grant

Fulton County Office for Aging/Youth Director Andrea Fettinger discusses a federal grant at the Board of Supervisors’ Human Services Committee meeting Tuesday at the County Office Building in Johnstown. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

JOHNSTOWN — The Fulton County Office for Aging/Youth was recently informed it received a $27,177 federal grant, nearly half of which will go toward equipment for the senior meals program.

OFA Director-Andrea Fettinger discussed the grant at a recent meeting of the Board of Supervisors’ Human Services Committee at the County Office Building.

The committee voted to accept $27,177 in federal Consolidated Appropriations Act funds and amend the OFA’s budget for this year. The full board will vote on final acceptance May 10.

Fettinger said the New York State OFA recently notified her agency of the award. She said funds cover a period from December 2020 through September 2022.

She said the grant will be applied four ways, including $13,000 applied to the OFA’s equipment expense account. That amount will cover the cost of replacing a commercial steamer used daily to prepare meals at the Kingsboro Kitchen for the OFA’s Senior Nutrition Program.

Fettinger said other funding from the grant will be allocated this way: $8,177 to support outreach and other nutrition-related activities including future outdoors events for older adults; $5,000 to replace office supplies used during COVID outreach and clinics; and $1,000 for phone expenses.

In Public Health Department requests, department Director Laurel Headwell received committee approval accepting $31,050 in 2021-2022 state Department of Health Bureau of Immunization Grant funds. The grant covers a period from now through March 31, 2022. Headwell said Fulton County is in the fourth year of a five-year period for the funding.

Headwell said revenue and appropriations are included in the submitted 2021 county budget.

She also received committee support to accept $49,625 in DOH Emergency Preparedness Grant funds. The annual grant runs from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021. She said the item was inadvertently left out of June 2020 agenda submissions.

Supervisors also amended a board resolution from 2020 to include Access Therapy Group PLLC to provide preschool education (ages three to five) speech, occupational, and physical therapy itinerant services in 2021.

“There’s no change to the Fulton County public health budget,” Headwell said.

Fulton County is required to contract with providers for three to five services determined by school districts’ Committees on Preschool Special Education.

Agencies to be used by the county in 2021 for speech therapy – at rates of $55 per half-hour and $65 per hour – include Community Health Center, Newmeadow, Center for the Disabled, Crossroads Center for Children, Lexington Center, Whispering Pines, Herkimer BOCES, Advanced Therapy PLLC, Building Blocks Learning Center, and Access Therapy Group PLLC.

By Patricia Older