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Citizen gets grant funding

The Clifton Park Citizen Corps Council (CPCCC) has been awarded grant funding to support several of its initiatives through 2008. The funding, said to be over $20,000, will assist the CPCCC in its efforts to provide emergency preparedness education and public outreach programs.

Clifton Park has long committed to emergency planning to protect our community, said Supervisor Phil Barrett. "The all-volunteer Citizen Corps brings resident, scholastic and business perspectives to the table and ensures that all segments of our community are included in the planning process. More importantly the Citizen Corps volunteers ensure that the town continues to provide free emergency prep-aredness and response and first aid and CPR training programs to those who live and work in Clifton Park."

The funding will also provide the means to improve existing programs like the special-needs registry known as the "Are You OK?" initiative. This free program compiles and maintains a list of residents with disabilities and special abilities, to be shared with the emergency services within the town, so those people are treated appropriately during any kind of emergency.

The CPCCC was established after the events of Sept. 11, 2001, when President George W. Bush created the USA Freedom Corps and encouraged residents to provide service in their local areas. Initially funded through Homeland Security grants, the program was originally brought to the attention of the Clifton Park Town Board by Councilman Tom Paolucci and strongly supported by the entire board; the CPCCC is a completely volunteer program, which relies heavily on grants for their funding.

"The town has supported the program with in-kind services," said Barb McHugh, director of community development for Clifton Park. Those services include administration, facilities and personnel. Since the grant is a reimbursement grant, the town must pay for the expenses of the CPCCC after which it applies for payment through the grant, which is administered by the State Emergency Management Organization (SEMO).

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