Assemblyman Jones: State Budget Provides Critical Funding for the North Country Veterans Association

May 9, 2019

Assemblyman Billy Jones (D-Chateaugay) announced that he helped secure $100,000 in funding for the North Country Veterans Association (NCVA) in the 2019-20 state budget, which totals $200,000 that he has secured since taking office. This funding will allow the NCVA to continue making critical building repairs and expand its services to include a curator’s office, a new computer server room, expanded food shelf storage and additions to the War Library project.

“The NCVA provides invaluable services for our veterans and their families, who have sacrificed so much to keep us safe,” Jones said. “This funding will help the NCVA expand its outreach and ensure our heroes get the help and support they deserve when they come home.”

The funding Jones secured will go toward phase II of the organization’s building project, which aims to increase the NCVA’s outreach to veterans and the community. The building was constructed in 1989 and has needed repairs as it ages and as the NCVA grows. In 2016, the Regional Economic Development Council provided funding for phase I of the project, which also received federal funding in 2009.

“This NCVA project bears the burden of uniqueness, in that, this Veterans' Service Center is the only one if its kind providing human health services as well as a museum, library and so much more to the veteran community” said NCVA Director Ken Hynes. “The funding secured by Assemblyman Jones ensures that the second phase build out of the NCVA will be completed and thereby be able to provide and expand services to all North Country Veterans.”

The NCVA’s mission of “vets helping vets” has allowed the organization to provide essential services and information to veterans and their families free of charge, including support for health issues such as Agent Orange exposure, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI). The NCVA also provides educational entitlements, employment opportunities and support groups for veterans and their loved ones. Additionally, the NCVA helps correct military records and file Veterans Affairs’ compensation claims as well as provide emergency relief and support to local residents including food, money, clothes and fuel oil.

“I applaud Assemblyman Jones for securing this much needed funding for the North Country Veterans Association” said Town Supervisor Michael Cashman. “While the Town of Plattsburgh is proud to be the home of the NCVA Post #1, their services are critical to the needs of Veterans throughout the greater region.”

Jones has been a staunch advocate for North Country veterans and serves as a member of the Assembly Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. The funding in this year’s state budget builds on the previous $100,000 commitment that Jones secured in the 2018-19 state budget. Additionally, a law he helped pass that allows more veterans to gain access to benefits went into effect earlier this year (Ch. 322 of 2018). The law ensures veterans are given proper assistance and informed of the benefits they’re entitled to when dealing with state agencies.