Summer camp comes to city's Central Park

Engle said the YMCA runs three camps in the county and could accommodate an additional 75 children with ease.

He said that while the YMCA camp in Jerry Burrell Park costs children $80 per week, a number of financial aid programs are available as well.

He urged the county to reject the proposed camp.

"We'd rather see the county as a partner rather than a competitor," said Engle.

The Legislature's Democratic majority maintained that the summer camp program had merit.

Legislator Gary Hughes, D-Schenectady, said that many not-for-profits had been contacted by Kosiur but had simply not returned phone calls asking for their partnership. Hughes also said that the summer camp would reduce crime and keep kids off the streets.

"These kids are in the middle of the street otherwise," said Hughes. "Let's try something a little creative for the summer."

While Democratic Legislators from the county's municipalities voted for the measure, Legislator Joe Suhrada, R-Rotterdam, took issue with the program's focus on only a few neighborhoods.

"We have to look at the greater good for all taxpayers in Schenectady County," he said.

The Youth Bureau-driven summer camp marks the second initiative backed by Kosiur in the past month that targets inner city youth.

The County's Summer Youth Employment Cooperative, which took applications mainly from students in the Schenectady City School District, employs teens throughout the county during the summer months.""

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