CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) – As the state readies itself for an influx of migrants, local municipalities are preparing. Rensselaer County was the first in our area to initiate a State of Emergency.
County Executive, Steve McLaughlin, issued the emergency order May 9, with the following statement on the County’s webpage:
“We do not have the resources and we do not have the room to handle a large number of migrants,” stated Steve McLaughlin.
It will allow the County to request federal funding for housing and services for migrants.
County Clerk Frank Merola commends the efforts to stay one step ahead of the race, telling the county is better prepared now.
“Our County Executive knew enough to do it right away, get it in place and start off over there on the right foot,” said Merola.
Rensselaer County Legislator, Nina Nichols, says they need to know more about the situation in order to understand the needs of the city.
“I think we should start with those conversations across public, private, on profit, human services, business partners; all of those folks could be at the table to have a conversation with the actual opportunities that might be here in Troy and Rensselaer County,” said Nichols.
While many across the country are turning this into a political issue, City Council President Carmella Mantello says the city has recently recovered from financial hardship and is not prepared for the migrants.
“This is not a Democrat or Republican issue. I know a lot of folks out there trying to make it a political issue, this is not. This is about the people of Troy, this is about our residents, it’s about the people of the county and ensuring their safety and then at the same time that they’re getting the services that they pay for,” said Mantello.
Futon, Greene, Saratoga and Schoharie are the other counties in the Capital Region with active State of Emergencies in place.
“New York State law affords local governments the ability to issue a State of Emergency as a standard course of business when a crisis exceeds or has the potential to exceed the county’s response capabilities. It is no secret that Saratoga County has been dealing with how best to care for our increased homeless population – if the State and NYC were to bring more unhoused people to our County, it would only exacerbate this ongoing problem. To that end, in declaring this State of Emergency, Saratoga County has taken this precautionary measure as a first step to protect our residents and the county from potential budget impacts and strains on our limited public health and social services resources,” said Saratoga County Board of Supervisors Chairman Theodore T. Kusnierz, Jr.