Franklin County EDC eliminates director position

MALONE — The Franklin County Economic Development Corporation (FCEDC) eliminated the position of director during a special meeting held Thursday at the courthouse in Malone, citing budget considerations and a lack of funds in the resolution that finalized the step. The position will be eliminated effective July 1, the resolution stated.

In a statement issued after the meeting by FCEDC CEO Jeremy Evans, officials said the decision was made with “deep regret,” after “careful consideration for the long-term strength and sustainability of the organization.”

According to the statement, Russ Kinyon has served as Economic Development director for both the county and the FCEDC for more than six years, and has been an “invaluable asset” to businesses around the area.

“His unwavering dedication, expertise, and commitment to driving economic growth have had a lasting impact and have significantly raised the profile of Franklin County regionally,” the statement read. “We express our heartfelt gratitude for his exceptional contributions, which have fostered a more prosperous business environment.”

Evans said the decision was not made lightly, and was based on a thorough evaluation of the organization’s evolving needs and the ever-changing economic landscape, and that the FCEDC remains committed to its mission of fostering economic development, attracting investment, and supporting local Franklin County businesses.

Kinyon was reached for comment Thursday and said he was satisfied with the work he has done to foster economic development in the county.

“I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished here in the last seven years,” Kinyon told the Telegram. “I’m very grateful for the opportunity to have served our businesses. We brought things a long way from when I started seven years ago.”

He said he leaves the organization with no ill will, and hopes to remain at the county in a similar role.

“I’m hoping to stay in the region in a similar role that continues to allow me to add value in the North Country.”

Evans said in the statement that Kinyon’s work has been valuable and highly appreciated by the organization.

“We extend our sincere appreciation to Russ for his exemplary service and tireless efforts,” Evans said in the statement. “His work has had a profound impact on numerous small businesses, and he has played a pivotal role in positioning Franklin County as a place that takes economic development seriously. His contributions will be greatly missed, and we wish him continued success in his future endeavors.

“While Russ cannot be replaced, our team remains committed to serving the businesses, communities, and residents of Franklin County.”

Evans added that Kinyon’s duties will be spread across remaining staff at the agency.

“That’s something we’ll figure out but we’ve got a great team and they’re pretty versatile and experienced so we’ll be dividing that up between the rest of the team,” Evans told the Telegram at the meeting.

When reached for further comment Thursday afternoon, Evans said the decision was a difficult one for the organization.

“This was, in our determination, the best route to go, however difficult,” Evans said. “Like any organization in this kind of situation, there’s no best way to do it. This is the direction we chose to go. We feel it’s best for the organization.

“We’re still in it to win it. We’ve got a lot work to do, we’ve got a lot going on. We’ve just got to keep charging forward. We hope this sets us up to be stronger and more resilient in the future.”

County manager Donna Kissane said the county remains committed to working with the FCEDC as one of its economic development partners in Franklin County.

“Franklin County looks forward to a continued relationship with the Franklin County Economic Development Corporation,” Kissane told the Telegram Thursday.

According to the resolution, Kinyon will receive a lump sum payment equal to 134 hours at his current hourly rate, and a continuation of health insurance coverage through July 31, subject to his acceptance of the separation agreement.

“The FCEDC serves as a unifying development organization focused on helping enterpreneurs start and grow businesses, fostering a shop local, community-first culture, and attracting visitors with the hope that they will become long-term residents,” the statement read.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $4.75/week.

Subscribe Today