OTSEGO COUNTY, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – The Chairman of the Otsego County Board of Representatives, David Bliss, has declared a State of Emergency in the county, effective as of yesterday, May 16th.
The executive order comes as asylum seekers are expected to arrive in New York. The federal Title 42 immigration policy expired on May 11th.
Bliss issued the state of emergency due to the limited number of temporary and permanent housing, and the county’s financial and logistical inability to receive & sustain any number of migrants and/or asylum seekers.
The executive order will provide Otsego County with access to potential federal and/or state funding to provide support for anyone arriving in the county.
The state of emergency will be in effect for five days, ending May 20th.
The county expects the order to be extended several times, to allow for community comment, and for the board of representatives to weigh-in at the next public meeting on June 7th.
Bliss says, “I am concerned if we do not properly plan for any influx of migrants resulting from the change in federal Title 42, we may see a substantial increase in homelessness in our communities, as well as an excessive financial burden on the citizens of Otsego County. State and/or federal funding must accompany any relocations so as not to deplete our already limited resources dedicated to the care of our existing homeless and distressed population.”