County finds year-end funds for 2 organizations

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 December 2014 at 12:00 am

ALBION – The Orleans County Legislature, at its year-end meeting on Monday, tapped its contingency fund to help two organizations.

The Cornell Cooperative Extension will get a $10,000 boost, while the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council was approved for $2,000.

Both organizations are in the county budget. The 2015 county budget boosted the allocation for Extension from $219,500 to $225,000, and the amount for GO ART! from $1,000 to $3,000.

The Extension sought more than the $225,000 for 2015. The group pushed for at least a $15,000 boost so it could add a part-time horticultural educator, a position that will also serve as coordinator of the master gardener program and could help with a food preservation program.

Extension Director Jennifer Wagester said the $10,000 approved Monday will be enough for the Extension to add the part-time position. The Extension will supplement the county dollars with other funding to fill the position.

“We feel pretty comfortable we can hire for the position in March,” Wagester said.

The organization also is pursuing grants and doing other fund-raising to provide programs for the community. Wagester said the Extension was recently notified that a $52,800 federal grant will pay for a food and nutrition program to be run out of the Orleans County with outreach into Batavia in Genesee County.

The coordinator of that effort will run classes and reach out to low-income families about food and nutrition.

Wagester said the Extension is working on a long-term plan “for the sustainability of our programs.”