MALONE — Members of the Town Council passed a resolution Wednesday to designate COVID-19 relief funds for several community agencies, including the American Legion to help cover the cost of upgrades at the baseball field near the Malone-Dufort Airport.
The Town Council voted to direct roughly $300,000 in grants and public health emergency aid from this year’s allotment of relief funds to multiple area nonprofits and other community organizations.
“They depend on the public for their support, and without being able to convene, with people not having jobs, with the whole gamut of issues that COVID brought upon us, I think this acknowledges the work they do to make the quality of life here better,” Town Supervisor Andrea Stewart said. “And hopefully, this is a shot in the arm to bring us to the next level.”
Of the total allocated funds, $76,000 will go to the American Legion and its ongoing efforts to improve and upgrade the baseball field by the Malone-Dufort Airport off Route 11.
“In the room the other night at the Legion, there was a sense of excitement and I find it is neat to be able to sit back and, basically it is just a vote from me, but it means a lot more for the community, that it puts you $1,000 past what the goal was,” Councilor Jody Johnston said.
Johnston said the planned work at the baseball field is a way to attract people to the airport and the rest of Malone.
“Now we can really focus on getting the field ready for the kids and doing what we all want to do with that field. Everybody that goes through Malone is going to see what that field is going to have,” Johnston said, “For kids at the American Legion or if we want tournaments here, whatever the future holds for that field, this is going to be a nice start.”
Additionally, $66,000 of the relief funds will go to Malone EMS, with the Malone Call Firemen receiving $44,000, according to town documents.
The greater Malone YMCA, Malone Adult Center, and North Country Animal Shelter each received $20,000, while AMVETS Post 8, Foothills Art Society, Malone Chamber of Commerce, and the regional food pantry each received $10,000.
A nonprofit animal rescue, Focus on Ferals, and the House of History received $5,000, while the Malone Golden Age Club received $3,000.
The town’s resolution states the designated agencies and nonprofits will have to provide the town with detailed reports of their planned expenditures and use of the allocated funds.
The American Rescue Plan Act, enacted in June, put Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Funds at the disposal of state and local governments, in an effort to address the financial and public safety needs brought about by the ongoing pandemic, according to the town’s resolution.
Through this economic recovery program, the town was allocated $869,535.84, with half of the funds, $434,767.91 received this summer, and the remaining half to be distributed by the state comptroller’s office during the summer of 2022, according to the town’s resolution.
The recovery funds, according to the town’s resolution, are designed to include a response to the economic impacts of the current public health emergency, with eligible uses including grants to nonprofits facing hardship due to the pandemic.