Written by Briana O’Hara in The Leader-Herald on April 14, 2020

JOHNSTOWN — The Fulton County Board of Supervisors held a live video meeting on Monday where they were joined by New York’s 21st Congressional District Congresswoman Elise Stefanik.

Stefanik gave the board an update as to what she has been working on to help support community members and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“My office has been focused on getting out the most up-to-date information from the [Centers for Disease Control], from the [state] Department of Health and our county public health officials,” Stefanik said. “We also have been in touch on a daily basis with our hospitals and community health centers across the district.”

She said the legislative package that was recently passed included hundreds of millions of dollars in support for rural hospitals and community health centers, so local hospitals and health centers should be receiving funds shortly.

Stefanik said she has spoken with several small business owners throughout the district who are facing significant economic uncertainty due to the pandemic.

“I voted in support of the paycheck protection program, which is a small business administration program, that is a loan with a portion that turns into a grant for our small businesses,” Stefanik said. “I partnered with local chamber of commerces to host Q and A sessions with our small business community and also with our financial lenders, our banks in our community, to answer questions and provide me the guidance that they need from the FDA to ensure that money can get to our small businesses as quickly as possible.”

She said the individual relief checks will be going out this week. That includes $1,200 per individual and $2,400 per married couple with an additional $500 per child.

Stefanik said she has also been working to increase testing in upstate New York, including more drive-through test sites.

“We really need to make sure our underserved rural community has the adequate testing here. I would support an increased number of testing facilities,” Stefanik said. “We have communicated that to our state elected officials and we will continue advocating for that.”

In other news, the Board of Supervisors passed three resolutions including resolution one, the authorization allowing the Board of Supervisors to transfer and expend monies from the contingent fund as needed for COVID-19 response and mitigation expenses; the second resolution to authorize certain actions in which this resolution had multiple unrelated items all within the resolution; and a third resolution authorizing certain budget amendments.

According to the first resolution, this will allow the board to have money for emergency spending while the county is in a State of Emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This resolution took effect immediately and will run through June 9.

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