Michael Mascarenas, Director
(518) 873-3630


7533 Court Street, PO Box 217
Elizabethtown, New York 12932
Fax: (518) 873-3751

The Department of Community Resources was established in 2010 to better serve the residents of Essex County by combining the offices of Planning, Youth Bureau, Stop DWI, and Traffic Safety. By combining these offices the County is able to utilize staff to better manage the grants of the towns and county. Primary responsibilities of this office are:

  1. Provide grant services to Municipalities.
  2. Provide grant services to County departments.
  3. Complete and file claims.
  4. Complete and file progress reports and grant closeout forms.
  5. Provide accounting services for grants received.
  6. Report to the County Manager and Board of Supervisors on the status of all grants.
  7. Provide Youth Services (needs assessments, employment training and recreational services) to Municipalities.
  8. Process Stop DWI Services.
  9. Provide Traffic Safety Services.

Contact us: the Essex County Office of Community Resources is here to help. Please contact us at the above phone number or e-mail with any questions you may have concerning any grant program or potential project in your community. Our extensive network of funding agencies will help to assist you in meeting yur project goals.



View from Poko Moonshine

Garrett Dague, Deputy Director
(518) 873-3452
Anna Reynolds, Associate Planner, (518) 873-3895
Lynn Donaldson, Community Development Coordinator, (518) 873-3687


(meets the 2nd Monday of each month)

Chairman: Merrihew
Vice-Chair: Politi
Supervisor: Depo
Supervisor: Harrington
Supervisor: Marnell
Supervisor: Miga
Supervisor: Moore
Supervisor: Morrow
Supervisor: Tyler

* includes:
1. IDA
2. Community Resources
3. R.O.O.S.T.
4. Publicity
5. Historian
6. Cooperative Extension

Planning, a Sub-Division of the Community Resource Department

7533 Court Street, P.O. Box 217
Elizabethtown, New York 12932
Fax: (518) 873-3751

If you are inquiring about a town land use class, building permit or zoning regulation, please visit the specific TOWN code enforcement officer.

Our mission is to provide tools and services required to implement community development goals for Essex County municipalities. Technical assistance is provided by researching, writing, and administering grants for upgrades, implementation, and expansion of community facilities, such as water and wastewater, parks and recreation areas, and habitat restoration. Assistance also includes issues of historic preservation, housing rehabilitation, Smart Growth implementation, energy efficiency, zoning, and comprehensive planning.

American Planning Association’s What is Planning? website.

Community Projects and Grant Funding Agencies

Essex County Fairgrounds – the marketing and rental of the Essex County Fairgrounds in Westport.

General staff activities – office staff serve as the county representatives for several local and regional organizations, including:

  • Lakes-to-Locks Passage Scenic Byway
  • Champlain Valley Heritage Network
  • Champlain Watershed Improvement Coalition of New York (CWICNY)
  • Greater Adirondack Resource Conservation & Development Council (RC&D)

Environmental permitting & review – office staff evaluate proposed projects, determine what permits may be needed, and submit permit applications as required. The staff conducts environmental assessments of proposed projects for grant applications, and to fulfill grant program requirements in accordance with New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQR) National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) rules and regulations. There is an NRCS/USDA soil survey of Essex County available for public viewing; digital copies may be requested.

General Municipal Law 239M, N Review – under NYS General Municipal Law Section 239, municipal planning actions specified by these sections are subject to review by the Essex County Planning Board, which has been designated as the County Planning & Economic Development Committee. All Essex County municipalities entered into an agreement stating that only the following proposed actions shall be subject to referral by the towns to the County:

  • adoption or amendment of a zoning ordinance or local law affecting property within 500′ of a County road or County property;
  • issuance of a special use permit affecting property within 500′ of a County road or County property;
  • approval of site plans affecting property within 500′ of a County road or property;
  • granting of use or area variances affecting property within 500 of a County road or property;
  • approval of preliminary and/or final subdivision plat, or a proposal to develop an undeveloped plat already filed in the Essex County Clerk’s office, affecting property within 500′ of a County road or property.

All other proposed actions under consideration by the town shall be deemed to be of a local nature and therefore exempt from referral to the County, despite provisions of General Municipal Law 239M and/or 239N.


Helpful Agencies


Stop DWI

DWI logo

Michael Mascarenas, Director

(518) 873-3630


7533 Court Street, PO Box 217
Elizabethtown, New York 12932
Fax: (518) 873-3751

Mission StatementTo develop and coordinate a comprehensive DWI counter-measure program to deter the incidence of drunk driving and the occurrence of alcohol-related traffic injuries and fatalities.Program DescriptionSTOP-DWI stands for “Special Traffic Options Program for Driving While Intoxicated”. The STOP-DWI Program was enacted by the State Legislature in 1981 for the purposes of empowering county governments to coordinate local efforts to reduce alcohol and other drug-related traffic crashes within the context of a comprehensive and financially self-sustaining alcohol and highway safety program.

Traffic Safety

Essex County Traffic Safety

The Traffic Safety Program is a comprehensive program designed to help reduce and prevent traffic related injuries and fatalities in our community. These programs and services are provided to the residents of Essex County at “no cost” to the taxpayer. Complete funding support is received from the New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee through a grant award process. Without the Essex County Traffic Safety department, local police agencies and county departments would not qualify for the available G.T.S.C. grants.

Our mission is to promote safe driving practices, safe road conditions, safe pedestrian practices and a general awareness of safety on roads and railways of Essex County. The Essex County Traffic Safety office offers the following programs and services:

Highway Safety Grant: GTSC provides funding to the Essex County Traffic Safety office to help support our efforts to reduce the number of crashes, injuries and deaths on our county roadways. This funding helps our office provide educational opportunities to the residents of Essex County through media materials and events such as bicycle rodeos. It also provides funding for bicycle helmets to be distributed to the youth of our county.

Child Passenger Safety Grant: our Child Passenger Safety program provides education on the proper use and installation of child safety restraints. The Essex County Traffic Safety office has certified child passenger safety technicians that are trained to install car seats, and to instruct caregivers how to properly install their child’s seats. This program also provides funding to purchase new child restraints to be distributed to county residents that otherwise couldn’t afford to purchase a new restraint. These new safety seats are distributed to residents of Essex County through fitting station appointments and local child passenger safety seat check events held throughout the county. For more information on our Child Passenger Safety Seat program, or to have your child’s seat inspected, please contact the Traffic Safety office at 518-873-3630.

Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) Grant: Essex County Traffic Safety provides funding to the Essex County Sheriff’s Department to help offset the costs of enforcing existing traffic laws put in place to combat the issues of aggressive driving, distracted driving, and speeding. This funding allows for an increased number of STEP patrols throughout the year.

Below are some websites that can provide additional Traffic Safety information:

Youth Bureau

Michael Mascarenas, Director (518) 873-3630


7533 Court Street, PO Box 217
Elizabethtown, New York 12932
Fax: (518) 873-3426


Essex County is a geographic behemoth, and it is the second largest county in New York State. Essex County features 18 distinct and unique communities. Essex County is replete with bucolic splendor and pristine lakes and rivers. Essex County is New York State’s recreational playground. Delivering services to county residents requires a substantial involvement by communities. This comprehensive approach allows for broad participation by persons of every age, and from every community perspective. The Essex County Youth Bureau is a uniquely-positioned agency, in that the Youth Bureau is concerned with all Essex County youth. The Essex County Youth Bureau welcomes any Essex County resident to participate in the planning, funding and delivery of youth services.


The Essex County Youth Bureau conducts a variety of measurement activities over the planning cycle. These activities include conducting county-wide surveys such as the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, The Communities That Care Survey, and The Prevention Needs Assessment Survey. These surveys establish the level of risk-taking behaviors by Essex County Youth. Areas of measurement include underage drinking, binge drinking, tobacco use, and illicit drug use, to mention just a few priority domains. Our survey work also informs us of the good things that young people are encountering, and not just the difficulties that they are experiencing. The Youth Bureau conducts a recreation survey series during the summer recreation season that features three elements. The camper survey measures camper satisfaction with the program, and measures the skill sets that campers acquired during camp. The recreation counselor survey measures program effectiveness and key developmental knowledge regarding youth and related Youth Bureau training effectiveness. The director survey seeks to harvest the experiential knowledge that experienced directors possess, and asks directors what they would suggest to improve Youth Bureau trainings and technical assistance. The Youth Bureau monitors all direct and indirect service programs to ensure program compliance. Youth Bureau staff perform on-site evaluations during the program monitoring phase. These observations and evaluations assist the Youth Bureau in determining program effectiveness, funding priorities, and best practices.


The Youth Bureau completes the needs assessment process, and then seeks youth programs to address identified needs and priorities. The Youth Bureau issues requests for proposals (RFPs) throughout the county, for consideration by local service providers. Program providers submit proposals that are evaluated by the Essex County Youth Bureau and Youth Planning Board. Funding decisions and local priorities are selected by the Youth Bureau Planning Board that respond to priorities identified in the needs assessment.

The Essex County Youth Bureau, in collaboration with The Prevention TEAM, administered the 2012 Prevention Needs Assessment Survey to Essex County Schools (grades 7th – 12th). The 2012 PNA Report shows the results for Essex County as a whole. For more information, please contact The Essex County Youth Bureau at 518-873-3630 or The Prevention TEAM at 518-585-7424 (survey coordination by the Prevention Team, 173 Lord Howe Street, Ticonderoga, NY 12803. Phone (518) 585-7424. Sponsored by the Essex County Youth Bureau, P.O. Box 217, 7533 Court Street, Elizabethtown, NY 12932. Phone (518) 873-3630)

Presentation on K2 and underage drinking at Willsboro Central School, April 4, 2012Photo: A presentation that Mike Mascarenas (Director of Community Resources), Kristy Sprague (Essex County District Attorney) and Brody Hooper (Elizabethtown Central School Junior and ER Technician at ECH) did for the students of Willsboro Central School on the dangers of K2 and underage drinking on April 4th, 2012. For more information please contact Community Resources at 518-873-3630.

Youth Bureau Programs

The Essex County Youth Bureau is funded by Essex County and the New York State Office of Children and Family Services. These funds are used to support local programs which will help prevent delinquency and foster positive youth development. The following programs are offered through Essex County:

Recreation Programs
Chesterfield/Ausable/Keeseville Recreation
Crown Point Recreation
Elizabethtown/Lewis Recreation
Jay Recreation
Keene Recreation
Minerva Recreation
Moriah Recreation
Newcomb Recreation
North Elba Recreation
North Hudson Recreation
St. Armand Recreation
Schroon Lake Recreation
Ticonderoga Recreation
Westport Recreation
Willsboro/Essex Recreation
Wilmington Recreation

In addition to recreation programs the Youth Bureau also offers the following programs:

Essex County Youth Employment Program
This program is offered in various towns to provide employment, vocational and job skills to area youth.

Arts Trek
This program is sponsored in part by the Ticonderoga Festival Guild, Inc. The program promotes, develops, sustains, delivers, and advances the performing arts in the Ticonderoga area. Since 1983, the Guild has presented programs that fulfill this mission in regards to area youth and children. Youth programs in Essex County are informed and invited to the programs. Bus loads come from Summer Youth Programs. The Arts Trek performance takes place each Wednesday morning, starting in July.

Schroon Summer Enrichment
The Schroon Summer Enrichment Program was developed to help those students with exceptional needs not necessarily met during the regular school year, or identified needs that can be met with continuing instruction.

Lake Placid Youth Center
The Thomas Shipman Sr. Memorial Youth Center is located in the Town of North Elba. The center is open to youth ages 11-18. The center provided planned activities to increase self-esteem as well as cultural, educational, and recreational experiences.

Summer Food Service Program
The Summer Food Service Program was established to ensure that children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session. Free meals are provided to all children at approved sites in areas with significant concentrations of low income children. The Youth Bureau operates two types of sites, open sites and closed enrolled sites in various towns in Essex County. Sites must meet the criteria for closed enrolled or open to qualify.


Essex County Fairgrounds
Westport, New York

Essex County Planning, a division of Essex County Office of Community Resources
Attn: Vanessa Cross
7533 Court St., PO Box 217, Elizabethtown, NY 12932
Phone (518) 873-3630, Fax (518) 873-3751
email: ldonaldson@co.essex.ny.us



(Please fill out the first page and mail it to: Lynn Donaldson, Essex County Office of Community Resources, 7533 Court St., PO Box 217, Elizabethtown, NY 12932 \ Phone (518) 873-3687, Fax (518) 873-3751)
email: ldonaldson@co.essex.ny.us

For campground reservations, please call 962-8733

Essex County Fairgrounds - Google Maps Aerial View