"Massena has some serious issues going on now. They are battling a serious drug problem in their community as well as the closure and downsizing of manufacturing plants that had served as the economic engine for much of the last 50 years," Assemblywoman Russell said.
She said she has been working with Massena community leaders for the past several months on a variety of community initiatives.
"I visited with Mayor Timmy Currier, and we talked about some of the village's current needs and the vision for its future," she said.
"This funding, much like the $250,000 I was previously able to secure for the Boys and Girls Club of Massena, is aimed at assisting village officials and other community leaders address some of the social issues challenging Massena," the assemblywoman noted.
"I have worked with Massena's leadership to provide funding as part of the multi-pronged approach to address those issues. Part of that approach is prevention and part of it is public safety," according to Assemblywoman Russell.
The village plans to use the latest round of funding Assemblywoman Russell is working to secure to purchase a K-9 patrol vehicle and new digital voice recorder for the police department, upgrade the police department's surveillance equipment in the community and purchase a new pickup truck for the fire department.
The plans also call for resurfacing the tennis, pickleball and basketball courts at Alcoa Field as well as spending nearly $90,000 for playground equipment and other enhancements for a new park off Water Street with public access to the Grasse River.
Massena Mayor Timmy J. Currier said Assemblywoman Russell has been a great partner in bringing money into the community to assist with local projects.
"These are challenging times for the village of Massena. We simply can't just turn to our taxpayers and ask for more. We are looking to our department heads and asking them what can we cut. This funding from Assemblywoman Russell will provide us with the money we need so we can maintain the facilities we have, purchase equipment and work to make community enhancements that can work hand in hand with our economic development efforts," Mayor Currier said.
"In Massena, first as chief of police and now as mayor, my experience in dealing with the assemblywomen and her ability to obtain funding for important projects has demonstrated her focus is on important projects that improve the lives of people in my community," Mayor Currier said.
"Specifically, three years ago, when the opiate problem in this region was beginning to really show up, Addie came to me and asked, “How can I help?” and that’s what she has tried to do. These are not her pet projects. These are projects that improve public safety and improve the quality of life in the community, which helps local government solve problems," he stressed.
Assemblywoman Russell said she has been impressed with the work Mayor Currier and the Massena Drug Free Coalition to address the opiate issues in the community.
"This funding will allow the village to improve its recreational assets as well as support the Massena Village Police Department, the men and women on the front lines trying to keep the community safe from the criminal activity connected to opioid addiction and working with their partners in law enforcement to apprehend those moving heroin and other drugs into our communities," she added.
"But it is equally important to provide our young people with other options and positive role models. Many children, the children of addicts, are suffering in this epidemic, and we need to provide them with safe places so kids can be kids," Assemblywoman Russell said.
"I support and applaud the efforts Massena leaders have taken to address these issues in their community, the efforts to provide structured environment for young people. This community has stepped up to address this issue, and I am pleased I have been able to partner with them to secure funding to help Massena move forward. Working together we will be able to make a difference," she added.
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