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More than $700,000 in Non-Profit Funding Announced through County’s New Agency Partner Grant Program

Published: 4/3/2013

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Colleen Pillus

Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro has announced grants totaling $705,200 to be awarded through Dutchess County’s Agency Partner Grant Program to non-profit agencies who provide outcome-based programs in specified service categories.  Based on input and analysis from the County’s Health and Human Services Cabinet and the Dutchess County Coalition of Non-Profit Agencies, funding categories for the 2013-14 grant awards are: Economic and Cultural Benefit; Health and Human Service Prevention and Intervention; and Environmental Sustainability.    

County Executive Molinaro said, “Our competitive funding mechanism that enables us to address the needs of our community in a focused, logical, fair and inclusive way s.  The Agency Partner Grant program is designed to drive better outcomes and ensure a return on investment for county taxpayers.”

The Agency Partner Grant program replaces the 'routine' funding that several non-profits have historically received in the county budget through individual line items.  The new grant program received bipartisan approval from the Dutchess County Legislature with the adoption of the 2013 County Budget.    The program provides the agility to respond to evolving community needs through a competitive process designed to produce better outcomes and allocate scarce resources more effectively.

Jody Miller, Executive Director of the Mediation Center of Dutchess County and a member of the Dutchess County Coalition of Non-Profits said, “I am very appreciative of the County’s revised process and the County Executive’s willingness to partner with the Dutchess County Coalition of Nonprofits, to identify programs where nonprofit services could help County Government meet new and existing community needs.”

Dutchess County Legislature Minority Leader Barbara Jeter-Jackson, who serves on the Community Development Advisory Committee that reviews the grant applications, said, “The process went very well, particularly for the first year of a new program and we were very pleased with the quality of the applications received.   The funded programs will address identified needs in our community in a more effective and efficient manner.”

Programs receiving 2013-14 Agency Partner Grant funding include:

Economic and Cultural Benefit

  • Children’s Media Project (CMP):  $9,600 to support youth vocational assistance through employment at the CMP Media Lab, where participants receive training in media production, creating the award-winning DROP TV series and broadcasting Radio Uprising, CMP’s weekly radio broadcast.
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County:  $86,297 to support specific 4-H Youth Development programs, including Green Teen Gardening in Beacon and Anti-Bullying programs within the 4-H Club structure.
  • Literacy Connections:  $24,000 to train tutors for adult literacy and to support the Book Buddies program for school children in the County.
  • Northeast Community Council:  $40,000 to expand the Community Partnership with Schools and Business, a work-skills training program for teenagers and young adults.
  • Poughkeepsie Public Library District:  $39,150 to expand its digital literacy program through the creation of a “Teen Geek” tutoring program to libraries throughout Dutchess County.  Members of the Teen Geek Squad are hired, trained, and deployed to all public libraries on Saturdays to assist patrons with digital literacy.

Health and Human Service Prevention and Intervention

  • Child Care Council of Dutchess and Putnam:  $12,050 to train child care staff at Dutchess County day care centers to encourage healthy nutrition and physical activity for young children and to help parents to extend the lessons learned into their homes.
  • Friends of Seniors:  $25,000 to enhance its senior transportation program by employing a dispatcher to coordinate non-emergency medical transportation schedules and by supporting staff efforts to engage more volunteer drivers.
  • Hudson River Housing:  $47,000 to expand its Financial Literacy 101 program in Dutchess County.  An additional Financial Coach will enable HRH to increase the number of classes and make them accessible to more County residents.
  • Hudson River Housing:  $48,000 to establish a Housing Navigator program to assist homeless adults and families to find appropriate and stable housing.
  • Mediation Center of Dutchess County: $28,462 to support the Coalition on Elder Abuse in Dutchess County. This program will also be eligible for a similar amount of funding from New York State through the Dutchess County Department of Community and Family Services (DCFS) which will bring total funding support for the program to $56,923.
  • Mediation Center of Dutchess County:  $25,461 for its Anti-Bullying Initiative which will support direct programs in two Dutchess County school districts.  The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP) provides training in both prevention and intervention.
  • Northeast Community Council: $27,180 to coordinate various nutrition and food service programs in the northeast part of the County.  Food access projects in Millerton and Amenia include the Farm and Food Education Program, a Summer Food Service Program, and the Share the Bounty Fresh Food Pantry.

Environmental Sustainability and Services

  • Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies:  $20,000 to support the Institute’s tick-borne disease program in collaboration with the Dutchess County Department of Health and the Dutchess County Tick Task Force.
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County:  $190,000 to provide science-based instruction and support for Commercial Horticulture and Agriculture operations and agriculture-related enterprises throughout Dutchess County. The program will also support participation in a fifteen-county commercial horticulture consortium.
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County:  $15,000 to initiate an education program for Composting and Organics Recycling. This program will support one of the key goals of “Rethinking Waste,” the County’s local solid waste management plan.
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County:  $68,000 to support the Environment and Energy programs, including GIS education and resources for local government officials, support for local watershed protection groups and development of educational resources around low impact development.

Jenny Hansell, Executive Director of the Northeast Community Center said, “We are very excited about the County’s support of two of our most significant programs in Eastern Dutchess County. NECC’s nutrition and food-access initiatives aim to bring nutritious and locally grown food to those with the least access to it. The Community Partnership program now has a ten-year track record of providing work skills and experience to teenagers and young adults living in the Webutuck School District.”

The Agency Partner Grant Program is administered on an April 1st to March 31st program year under the direction of the Department of Planning & Development.   Applications are reviewed and submitted to the County Executive for final approval by the Community Development Advisory Committee.

Town of Red Hook Supervisor Sue Crane serves as the Chair of the Community Development Committee.  Supervisor Crane noted, “The advisory committee was pleased to receive so many applications from a variety of agencies.  There were many excellent applications, and the choice was difficult.  The 18 programs that received funding will help improve the quality of life for the residents of Dutchess County.”