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State grant funds secured for ‘Save the Rain’

— At the September session, the Onondaga County Legislature accepted grant funds for Save the Rain projects, our forensic laboratories and Air-One. Additionally, a public hearing was set for the 2012 county budget. This hearing will take place at 7 p.m. Oct. 6 at the legislative chambers.

The legislature has made the “Save the Rain” campaign a priority. At session we accepted a grant from the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation in the amount of $712,500 for the War Memorial Arena Rain Water Reuse System. This grant will be used to offset the costs associated with the reuse system. The system will capture approximately 400,000 gallons of rainwater and reuse it to make ice next season for the Syracuse Crunch hockey team.

This year, during the state’s budget process, substantial cuts were made to Medical Examiner’s offices statewide. At our July Health committee meeting, our Medical Examiner’s office announced that $400,000 in State aid had been cut for 2011. Our Medical Examiner’s office took action immediately, applying for grants that would reduce the burden from this cut. At session, we accepted more than $160,000 in grant funds. This will certainly help close the gap the State created when it made cuts to state aid.

Earlier this year, I supported a resolution asking the Sheriff’s department to find alternative ways to fund the helicopter better known as Air-One. Since then, the Sheriff has established a not-for-profit organization that can accept donations for the program. Additionally, the Sheriff’s office has increased the number of grants they are applying for in an effort to reduce the total costs to taxpayers. I am proud to announce that we have received a $20,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice for Air-One. This grant will assist in the costs of fuel and maintenance for the current budget year. All indications are that we may receive additional grant funding from the Department of Justice for next year’s budget.

Kevin Holmquist represents the 10th district which includes the Town of Manlius. Holmquist welcomes constituent feedback; he can be reached at 637-8364.

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