NORWICH – A recent influx of $10,000 from the New York state Office of Mental Health to afford a lease increase for the county’s Serendipity Cafe program prompted Supervisor Dennis Brown to ask, “What’s next?”
“What about Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and Arby’s? Do they get $10,000 from the state to pay for their leases?” the Democrat from Pharsalia asked his fellow members of the finance committee last week. “They compete for the same customers, don’t they?”
Acting on a referral from the health and human services committee, Brown and members of finance were asked to appropriate the state funds for budgeting purposes. Mental Hygiene Services Director MaryAnn Spryn said the grant was for one year only, and that the vocationally-geared program would have to rely on more sales at the cafe, an associated shop and a meeting room to meet expenses next year. Serendipity is located in the Eaton Center, which came under new ownership in January.