The American Red Cross Adirondack Saratoga Chapter's satellite office on Rowland Street in the Town of Milton closed on Tuesday, Dec. 1. According to a news release, a needs assessment in March 2009 showed a lack of training space and an increase in maintenance costs, which coupled with a need for a more centralized location, led the board of directors to arrive at the decision to close the office.
It became very clear that we weren't utilizing that office very well because it became too small for our needs. We were using it and proactively planning to use it for safety training and stockpiling supplies, but as needs increased in Saratoga County we found we had to move some scheduled programs out of there and find larger facilities, said Eileen Reardon, executive director of the American Red Cross Adirondack Saratoga Chapter which serves five counties total.
Reardon also said that while Saratoga County owns the building that housed the satellite office, the Red Cross was responsible for maintenance and upkeep. She said the office's closure will save about $20,000 a year from these operational expenses and that there will be no layoffs or cutbacks.
"We remain focused on service delivery for Saratoga County and the area of service delivery will probably increase instead of decrease. Saratoga is the largest area we cover, so we wanted to make sure and take time to make sure our plan of action is very clear and precise. I think we'll be serving people even better," said Reardon. "We really want to utilize donor dollars very wisely and in their intent, which is to help people and assist them in a time of need. We're looking at collaborative relationships in the community."
Reardon said that these collaborative relationships would allow the Red Cross to expedite their services and operate in a more functional way to better serve the growing communities in Saratoga County. Efforts include strategically placing cots and blankets in various town halls and talking to larger facilities like churches about conducting training there.