BALLSTON SPA — Despite past differences with village government, the Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council (EOC) seems to be settling nicely into the Ballston Spa community.
The EOC’s new location is in the former Hayner House at 30 Bath Street in Ballston Spa.
In the past, there was an on-going court battle between EOC and the village over the right of the EOC to move their headquarters to Ballston Spa.
In January of this year the state Supreme Court ruled the EOC had a right to move to Ballston Spa because it provides a “vital human service”.
EOC Executive Director Julie Hoxsie is optimistic for a good relationship between EOC and the village, especially local businesses that they are visiting, as well as others they plan to visit in the future.
“Saratoga County EOC is settling into Ballston Spa and the employees are happy to be in a small village,” said Hoxsie. “Many in the village have been warm, friendly and welcoming.”
Hoxsie said she took an informal survey of EOC employees of local businesses, and so far, the employees’ favorite places to eat are the Iron Roost, Zest-A Personal Chef and Catering Company, Front Street Deli, Wheats and Sweets and Pizza Works.
The employees also cited O’Brien Pharmacy and Spa Cleaners as being very friendly to them.
The admiration appears to be mutual, according to the owners and managers of local businesses polled in a recent informal survey.
Chris Fignar, owner of Front Street Deli said he was very positive about building a good relationship with the EOC.
“I’ve seen them come in, my wife Rebecca works over there,” Fignar said. “They’ve been helping us out and supporting us. It’s a good thing because so many people were against it and it’s been positive for us.”
Frank Rant, the owner of Wheats and Sweets on Front Street, is also hopeful.
“I’ve already noticed about a twenty percent increase in business since they’ve moved in,” Rant said. “It’s too early to say the final result, because there will be more traffic, but I think it will be positive because employees there like to order and we have seen an increase in sales. I think they are trying to be good neighbors.”
Nate Marley, a manager of Pizza Works on Milton Avenue noticed that lunchtime has gotten a little busier.
“Hopefully they will be a boon to local businesses,” Marley said.
Perhaps Sean O’Brien, the owner of O’Brien Pharmacy summed it up best.
“The county workers have been vital to downtown for forty years, so I’m all for EOC moving in,” O’Brien said. “There will be an increase in foot traffic. If not immediately, there will definitely be an increase.”
The EOC used to be located in Saratoga Springs, before moving into the village.
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