DSS satellite office to open in Amsterdam next week

The new satellite office of the Montgomery County Department of Social Services will open on Monday, June 8, in Amsterdam’s Riverfront Center. In announcing the opening of the new office, County Executive Matthew Ossenfort said having a location in Amsterdam will greatly improve efficiency, while also moving the agency closer to its cooperating partners. A total of 38 employees will move from Fonda to Amsterdam, Ossenfort said.

“This will allow our Social Services team to work with clients more effectively and produce better outcomes,” Ossenfort said. “This is part of our overall restructuring and reorganization of county operations and will ultimately save taxpayer dollars.”

The satellite office will be located at 1290 Riverfront Center, in the east end of the first floor. Hours of operation will be the same as other county offices: from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

A total of 38 employees will be moving from Fonda to Amsterdam. The programs available at the new location will include Temporary Assistance (TA), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Energy Assistance, the Child Support Unit and employment assistance.

Moving to Amsterdam will allow DSS to work more closely with partners such as Catholic Charities, Workforce Solutions, St. Mary’s Hospital and Fulmont Community Action Agency, Ossenfort said. The move will also cut transportation costs and greatly improve availability to residents in the eastern end of the county, where more than 60 percent of the current client base is located.

According to Ossenfort, the move also relieves some of the county infrastructure issues at the office building on Broadway, reduces the stress on the county’s fleet of cars and provides expanded meeting room space. The addition of a satellite office also gives Social Services a backup plan, allowing the agency to continue to operate, even if an emergency occurred in either Fonda or Amsterdam.

District 6 Legislator John M. Duchessi Jr., chairman of the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee, said he is pleased with the move.

“Many of these programs serve the county’s most vulnerable residents, so providing them with a closer location just makes sense,” Duchessi said.

“Being located in the same building as Workforce Solutions is a huge deal,” Department of Social Services Commissioner Michael McMahon said. “This satellite office provides our agency with a professional and secure location to better meet the needs of our clients and residents as a whole.”

John Becker

John Becker is both a Reporter and Consulting Editor for The Compass. He and his wife Pat operate Abbey Farms in Amsterdam NY.