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Stimulus money trickles into Saratoga County

"That's real money that really has come in, and it's meant to ease the pain of all the high Medicaid costs that have struck our county, and frankly the rest of the state," said Wickerham.

New York is one of the few states that pass Medicaid costs on to county governments.

Depending on the type of project, groups or governments have to apply to different state agencies. With differing application requirements and deadlines it can be a logistical nightmare, said Yepsen, who hopes to hold a countywide informational forum to help the county better connect with stimulus money.

"It's a very complicated issue," she said. "I'm trying to break through all that and trying to simplify that, and at least put my constituents in touch with the right agencies and offices."

She hopes to hold a meeting sometime in June.

"The governor's office has already indicated to me that they'll be happy to work with me to put this together," said Yepsen.

She also said she hopes to work closely with newly minted Congressman Scott Murphy, who was sworn in on Wednesday, April 29.

Saratoga County, like all or parts of 10 counties upstate, has been operating without Congressional representation for the past three months, which have been when much of the plan's details have emerged. Since the money has been distributed to states this has not directly lead to Saratoga missing out on funds, but it has left the entire 20th Congressional District one powerful lobbyist short in the governor's offices.

"I guess you could say we're at somewhat of a competitive disadvantage," said Johnson. "It's always nice to have a representative."

Still, it is unlikely that Gov. Paterson will be able to stiff one area while enriching another without suffering an outcry, lobbying or no, said Wickerham.

"The governor has said he's doing this, and he's doing it on a straightforward needs basis, and until I see differently I'm going to take it on his word," he said.""

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