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November 2013 Column - True thank you to our veterans is said with quality services


OFFICE HIGHLIGHTS

Erie County Legislature Majority Leader Joseph Lorigo partnered with his nieces, Adriana and Alaina Lorigo, members of Daisy Troop 31147, to deliver several boxes of Girl Scout cookies to officers, dispatchers and staff at the Erie County Sheriff...

The Erie County Legislature recognized the Erie County Sheriff's Office for receving the New York State Sheriff’s Association Institute’s 2014 “Innovative Program Award” for the implementation of the Veterans Housing...

When a home is burglarized, the aftermath can be extremely toiling for the homeowner. Aside from having your security invaded, the victim is left dealing with the loss of personal items. In many cases, such as when jewelry or precious antiques...

The Erie County Legislature’s Majority Caucus continues to implement initiatives that will improve efficiency and accountability within the Legislature. Starting in March, the entire Legislative staff was placed on the county’s...

Erie County Legislature Majority Leader Joseph Lorigo will host Community Outreach Meetings in March to discuss county issues and provide updates on various items.

Last week our country marked Veterans Day with ceremonies and memorials honoring those who served in our armed forces. I attended several community events to pay tribute to our brave men and women in uniform and was impressed with the outpouring of support from residents.  There were several parades and ceremonies to say thank you and to recognize the true meaning of the day.

 

While expressing gratitude is a nice gesture and should be done year round, ensuring that veterans are receiving the highest quality of support is the best way we can show our appreciation.  Veteran’s services are critical in making a difference in these heroes’ lives. I believe Erie County is improving its Veterans Services Department to better serve our area’s large veteran community.  These improvements include partnering with other agencies like the One-Stop Center and local VA Hospital, to provide a full range of services to local veterans of every generation.

 

While many avenues exist, if you, or anyone you know, feel that help isn’t being provided, please contact my office at 858-8922 or email joseph.lorigo@erie.gov and I would be happy to assist you. I also post information about events and services on my Facebook page to help spread the word. Please CLICK HERE to access my Facebook page. 

 

One such event recently announced was “Operation Entrepreneur,” which is a workshop for veterans who are interested in operating their own business.  This workshop was presented by the Veterans One-Stop Center, the Small Business Development Center and U.S Small Business Administration. Participants were invited to learn about building a successful business. In conjunction, the U.S Small Business Administration recently announced new measures to help veterans attain small business loans by setting the borrower upfront fee to zero for all veteran loans authorized under the SBA Express program, up to $350,000.  This initiative will start on Jan. 1 and continue through the end of the fiscal year. Veterans can learn more at www.sba.gov.

 

Another great opportunity for veterans and their families are scholarships, awards, and other benefits available through the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation. Money is available for undergraduate tuition for soldiers, as well as for a program to help children, spouses and dependents of servicemen or women who were killed or seriously injured in combat. Veterans or their families can read more about New York State Higher Education Services Corporation awards and scholarships by visiting www.hesc.ny.gov.

 

These services, and others, are designed to assist those who sacrificed to serve our country. Our lives would not be what they are today were it not for our veterans. Providing them the tools to succeed is the least we can do to show our appreciation. 

 

I want to close with an important reminder for all homeowners; if you are eligible for the Basic STAR exemption you must re-register your information with New York State before Dec. 31. Basic STAR is available for owner-occupied, primary residences where the resident owners’ and their spouses’ income is less than $500,000. To re-register, visit www.tax.ny.gov and find the button labeled, “Register for STAR.” Taxpayers also can register by calling (518) 457-2036.