PLATTSBURGH — Clinton County legislators gave away $73,000 in tobacco settlement funds to nine groups this time around.
There were nine requests totaling $113,000 in funding for various community projects.
The county receives about $55,000 a year from the settlement of a national suit against big tobacco about 20 years ago. The funding is used to support projects that enhance healthy living and quality of life.
There was about $89,000 in the county's settlement fund, causing legislators to make decisions about how much funding they could give out to the nine community groups.
Eight of the nine had their funding requests dropped by $5,000.
The maximum amount a group could seek is $15,000.
The Town of Saranac/Foundation of CVPH; Town of Schuyler Falls/Foundation of CVPH; Clinton County historian; North Country Honor Flight; and Saranac Volunteer Fire Department each wound up getting $10,000 for their projects.
The Town of Saranac and Schuyler Falls/Foundation of CVPH projects include improvements to the Saranac River Trail Greenway.
The County Historian's Office received $10,000 to produce historic site maps.
Honor Flight will use its $10,000 to pay for flights for veterans to fly to Washington, D.C., to visit their war memorials, and the Saranac Fire Department will put their $10,000 toward a drone for emergency services use.
The Brigid Project, an end-of-life care program, will receive $5,000.
The Saranac River Trail Greenway will also get $5,000, for more trail improvements.
Mooers Free Library was awarded $5,000 for a community park and garden project.
The only organization that received the full amount of what they were requesting was the Literacy Volunteers of Clinton County, at $8,000.
Legislator Chris Rosenquest (D-Area 9, City of Plattsburgh) who chairs the county's Finance Committee, said legislators tried to make sure that each project got something.
"We try to cast the net a little wider, and hopefully we can get more new groups coming in with requests," he said.
"The rules are a little flexible, but as long as the money is used appropriately, it's good."
Rosenquest said that with money in the tobacco fund dwindling, legislators are forced to be more careful with appropriations.
"We have to be a little careful, and we can't give everybody everything they want, but we are excited to support these great community efforts."
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