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Sun., Oct. 4
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Massena Central School approves use of school facilities by MMH in emergencies


MASSENA - Massena Memorial Hospital will continue to be able to use Massena Central School facilities in case of an emergency under a memorandum of understanding approved by the school district’s board of education this week.

“It’s an annual agreement,” Interim Superintendent William H. Flynn said.

The memorandum notes that the collaboration between the hospital and school district “is being formed to provide shelter to the patients of MMH in the case of an immediate evacuation from the facility is needed or emergent evacuation while patients are placed in another facility at the Massena Central School gymnasium.”

Under the terms of the MOU, the hospital is requesting use of handicapped busses and drivers from the school in case transportation is needed to move patients from the hospital to the district.

While the hospital will provide all the supplies, equipment and personnel for the evacuated patients, they are requesting use of the district’s kitchen facilities if the evacuation takes longer than 12 hours.

In case of an emergency, hospital officials would notify Massena Central School officials and request use of the high school gymnasium. After using all of their medical transportation vehicles, hospital officials would then notify the school district to make arrangements for any further transportation.

“MMH will reimburse MCS for any costs incurred,” the memorandum notes.

Board members unanimously approved the memorandum of understanding during their meeting. It is in effect until one of the parties cancels the agreement and is reviewed annually to ensure it is fulfilling its purpose.

“This is a yearly agreement that’s done, in which the school district is requested to be able to provide shelter and some transportation if needed and food,” as well as the availability of the school cafeteria for hospital staff in situations where the hospital would need to be evacuated, Mr. Flynn said.

Board members also unanimously approved a draft agreement with the Northern New York Community Foundation.

“This is an agreement with the Northern New York Community Foundation, generally between donors of monies for scholarships or other gifts to the district. Essentially it’s an agreement that they would be the guardians for the monies that they have received, then they would be turned over back to the district for scholarships,” Mr. Flynn said.

Board members had heard a presentation from Northern New York Community Foundation Executive Director Rande S. Richardson during their February meeting, outlining what the organization could do for the district.

“We are simply a conduit for the collection of funds,” Mr. Richardson had told board members.

The Northern New York Community Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that serves organizations in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. Locally, they work with several entities including the Potsdam and Madrid-Waddington school districts and the Massena Music Friends.

Mr. Richardson had said that one of the reasons organizations turn to the Northern New York Community Foundation is because the Watertown-based organization is in a position to properly handle donations and the paperwork associated with it.

The staff at the Northern New York Community Foundation oversee donations and ensure they’re directed according to the donor’s wishes, he noted.

The Massena Music Friends joined with the Northern New York Community Foundation to help them with donations that are directed to support the district’s music program.

“Congratulations on approving tonight the agreement with the Northern New York Community Foundation. I don’t think you’re going to be disappointed,” MMF President Paul A. Haggett told board members this week after they approved the draft agreement.

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