Leaders step up for Lake Shore

As many of you may know, Chautauqua County nearly lost an important local employer this past month. Chautauqua County’s Lake Shore Hospital was slated to close due to financial hardship on Jan. 31.

Although we are not out of the woods yet, great progress is being made due to the tireless work of Congressman Tom Reed and State Sen. Catharine Young along with Assemblyman Andrew Goodell.

After the flood of 2009, our community was tested, and after all was said and done, we came together to overcome the challenge. As we all know, Tri-County Hospital was severely damaged during the flood. This put more strain on Lake Shore both financially and on its capacity. We have been waiting for an answer from FEMA on this and other open issues. It’s encouraging to know that our elected officials do everything within their power to make sure that calls for assistance have not gone unanswered.

We have Congressman Tom Reed to thank for his ongoing efforts and persistence with FEMA to make sure the TLC Hospital Network funds were approved. Congressman Reed stood with Senator Young, Assemblyman Goodell and many others at the “Save the Hospital Rally.” He let us know that he had been in contact with the regional director of FEMA on his way to that event to get answers on the money owed to our community for so long.

Tom Reed, and his staff, have been accessible and active throughout this fight to save Lake Shore.

The severe flooding our community endured in 2009 was devastating, and the threat of losing an important employer and healthcare provider is something that will also be devastating to our area. We want to thank Tom, and every other elected official that had a hand in getting this funding approved.

But a special thank you to Congressman Reed for keeping the pressure on FEMA, working to keep jobs in our communities, and for your continued presence in Chautauqua County.

George Borrello is a county legislator who represents Hanover and Silver Creek.