Tax volunteers needed

PLATTSBURGH — The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and AARP Tax Aid program in Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties is looking for volunteers for the 2020 tax season.

The VITA and AARP Tax Aid Program offers free tax help to low- to moderate-income people who cannot prepare their own tax returns, including older adults, veterans, the disabled and those in rural communities. Last year, the program helped 4,150 low-income individuals and families get their taxes done for free. Refunds totaled $5,898,269.

In Clinton, Essex and Franklin Counties, volunteers are sought at seven locations: Senior Citizens Council (Plattsburgh), the Lake Placid Public Library, Malone OneWorkSource, Mohawk Indian Housing Corporation (Akwesasne), Tupper Lake Public Library and locations in Essex County.

VITA & AARP Tax Aid Program volunteers can be retirees, college and high school students and anyone else looking to help their local community. Certified volunteers sponsored by various organizations receive training to help prepare tax returns. Online training is available 24/7 days via and allows volunteers to take courses and obtain certification at their own pace. Supplemental classroom training on tax law and using tax preparation software is also offered. Class room training will be offered Wednesday, Oct. 9 from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at SUNY Plattsburgh.

“If you ever wonder how to make a difference and help people in your community, then becoming a tax volunteer may be just right for you,” United Way Director of Development and the Earned Income Tax Credit Coalition of the Adirondacks Chair Kathy Snow said.

For more information or to sign up call Kate Gardner at 518-566-0944 for Clinton County, Kyle Miller at 518-546-3565 for Essex County and Melissa Howard at 518-359-7688 for Franklin County.

Landlord workshop

PLATTSBURGH — The North Country Chamber will offer a seminar to help rental property owners comply with the recently passed Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019.

Rental property owners, landlords, professionals handling real estate transactions, and real estate organizations in the North Country will be affected by the rules and regulations contained in the act, which covers all rental properties in the state.

The chamber seminar will cover new rules for security deposits, changes to the current eviction process, laws concerning mobile and manufactured homes, evaluating new purchases, major capital improvements and individual improvements, rent control and decontrol, preferential rents and vacancies, and other aspects of the TPA. The information will be presented by Brendan Owens and Justin Meyer, who are both attorneys with the law firm Stafford, Owens, Piller, Murnane, Kelleher & Trombley PLLC.

It will be held Tuesday, Oct. 8 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Cost to attend is $20 for members of the Chamber of Commerce and $40 for non-members. To register, go to or call the Chamber office at 518-563-1000. Pre-registration is required.


Kickball tourney

PLATTSBURGH — PlattCo Corporation and UPS won the Fourth Annual ETS Corporate Kickball Challenge Kickball Tournament and donated their winnings to the Elmore SPCA and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

ETS is a career hub specializing in creative staffing solutions with three dedicated divisions – Professional, Industrial and Office/Administrative. Headquartered in Plattsburgh its “Hi-Tech, Hi-Touch” model puts people first, and aligns their processes, technology and relationships to meet businesses needs.

Eighteen teams competed in the ETS #KickItForCharity on the U.S. Oval. UPS won first place in the competitive division, donating $1,000 to the Elmore SPCA and PlattCo won first place in the fun division, donating $1,000 to the Make A Wish Foundation. This year’s tournament raised at total of $3,000 for local charities, with the remaining $1,000 donated to The United Way of the Adirondack Region.

Participants included: UPS, APG-Neuros, WB Mason, Volvo Bus, Johns Manville, Norsk Titanium, Bombardier, United Way of the Adirondack Region, PrimeLink, Clute Wealth Management, The Foundation of CVPH, Dannemora Federal Credit Union, Lowther Enterprises, Casella, Miner Institute, PlattCo Corporation, BHSN and Luminator Technology Group.

CFO named

PLATTSBURGH — The Board of Directors of Northern Insuring Agency announced Brenda LaRose as chief financial officer.

Northern Insuring Agency Inc. celebrated its 89th anniversary in June and specializes in business, home, auto and life insurance and employee benefits services. The largest locally-owned, independent insurance agency covering the northern New York region, Northern Insuring was selected and ranked fourth in the state as a 2019 Best Companies to work for in New York, according to New York State Society for Human Resource Management.

Brenda is a 29-year veteran of the agency and has worked her way up from the mail room to one of the highest leadership positions within the agency. In her role as CFO, Brenda oversees the financial operations for organization including payroll, accounts payables and receivables. She also retains her role as talent manager for the inside staff including Human Resource duties and benefits administration.

“Brenda has proven herself as always willing to go above and beyond expectations,” President and CEO Deena Giltz McCullough said. “Her attention to detail, positive attitude with a healthy sense of humor and pragmatic reasoning set her apart as a tremendous asset to me personally and the entire team.”

State report

PLATTSBURGH — The North Country Regional Economic Development Council (NCREDC) submitted its 2019 Progress Report to the state by its Oct. 1 deadline, detailing strategic plan achievements and reflecting North Country progress towards sustainable and long-term growth in the seven-county region.

In 2011, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s established the Regional Economic Development Council initiative with 10 Regional Councils to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth in their regions. The councils are public-private partnerships made up of local experts and stakeholders and have redefined the way New York invests in jobs and economic growth by implementing a community-based, bottom-up approach and establishing a competitive process for state resources.

Since 2011, more than $6.1 billion has been awarded to over 7,300 job creation and community development projects consistent with each region’s strategic plans, projecting to create and retain more than 230,000 jobs.

Round IX of the REDC initiative will award more than $750 million in state funding and tax incentives, including up to $150 million in capital grants and up to $75 million in Excelsior Tax Credits for projects and activities identified by the Councils as regional priorities in their communities. Additionally, over $525 million from state agency programs will be awarded through the CFA process. Funding awards will be announced by the end of the year.

The North Country Regional Economic Development Council’s Progress Report recommends 11 priority projects to advance the region’s growth objectives, representing up to $13.6 million in requested state funding, leveraging nearly $55 million in private, and other funding, for total project expenses of more than $68.5 million.

Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism CEO and NCREDC Co-Chair James McKenna said an initial goal as co-chairs, he and Jefferson Community College President Dr. Ty Stone wanted to revise the way the council worked by directly aligning its efforts with those of the state.

“Through the reorganization of our work groups, we created five groups to plan and position us for further progress, while mirroring the state’s economic development pillars, to better align our regional vision and strategies,” McKenna said. “We are proud of the work the council has done over the past year, and we look forward to implementing the approved projects to continue the strong trajectory that will propel us forward.”



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