Survey: How should Albany County spend $30M in federal funds?

Enterprise file photo — Michael Koff

Highlighting the increased food insecurity in Albany County in September 2020, Daniel McCoy, the county’s executive, urgently called for federal support, saying, “People in this county need these services more than they’ve ever needed them before in life. They need it now. And they’re going to need it going into the future.” This week, two years later, McCoy and the county legislature launched a survey to find out how residents think $29.6 million in federal pandemic-relief funds should best be spent.

ALBANY COUNTY — The county is surveying residents on how to spend $29.6 million, a second round of federal funds to help with recovery from the ongoing pandemic.

The American Rescue Plan Act includes money for, among other things, dealing with economic fallout from COVID-19, public health, support of essential workers, and certain kinds of infrastructure.

The survey was released on Monday by the county executive, Daniel McCoy, and the county legislature.

The survey, which must be submitted by Nov. 16, may be filled out anonymously online at

The survey’s categories for investments include community health and wellness, economic recovery and growth, quality of life, homelessness and housing, and public safety, among others.

“While the first tranche of federal dollars was critical to addressing sales tax revenue shortfalls to ensure county government could properly respond to the pandemic, we must now look ahead to the types of projects that will allow us to continue moving forward, stronger than before,” said McCoy in a release announcing the survey.

“Whether it’s our seniors and those with underlying health conditions, families with school-aged children, small business owners, minority communities, frontline workers or others, we know that COVID has had a disproportional impact on some compared to others. With this survey, we want to get input from our residents to help ensure that our recovery is equitable, effective, and forward-thinking,” McCoy said.

“Community members know what is best for their communities and what is needed to help strengthen our county so we encourage every resident to take a few minutes to fill out the survey,” said Albany County Legislature Chairman Andrew Joyce in the release. “Only then can we ensure that we are investing the people’s money responsibly.”

“Hearing from those impacted the most by the pandemic means a more targeted response and importantly, more resources going toward finding a solution,” said Legislative Black Caucus Chairman William Clay in the release.

The online survey is available in multiple languages to encourage widespread participation.

Paper copies of the survey are available at the Harold L. Joyce Albany County Office Building at 112 State Street in Albany or at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Albany County at 24 Martin Road in Voorheesville and may be dropped off in person at either location or sent by mail to the Office of the Albany County Executive at 112 State St, Room 1200, Albany, NY 12207.

— Melissa Hale-Spencer

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