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Legislature Adopts Reduced County Budget

Monticello, NY – Weighing in at $1 million less than the 2019 Budget, the 2020 Sullivan County Budget was unanimously adopted today by the Legislature.

“Our Division of Management and Budget, which has worked for months to develop a responsible and efficient budget, was able to significantly lower appropriations for 2020, bringing the total appropriations in the 2020 Budget to $233,270,953,” said County Manager Josh Potosek.

As a result, the County tax rate is anticipated to increase by 1.59%, or approximately $19 per $100,000 of assessed value – under the State-mandated property tax cap.

“As one of the last acts of my time on the Legislature, I am proud to be a part of the team that delivered this Budget to taxpayers – without cutting services, programs or personnel,” noted District 1 Legislator Scott Samuelson, chair of the Legislature’s Management & Budget Committee.

“This is a conscientious budget, taking into account the needs of both our staff and our taxpayers,” remarked Legislature Chairman Luis Alvarez. “I thank everyone who worked toward that goal.”

“This is a forward-looking budget, built upon the blessings of an improved economy rather than on the backs of taxpayers,” added Legislature Vice Chair Nadia Rajsz.

“With many of our planning initiatives now bearing fruit, and more in the works, this budget smartly positions the County to welcome and manage further growth,” said District 9 Legislator Alan Sorensen, the Legislature’s Majority Leader.

“I’m very pleased to say this was a diligent, bipartisan effort,” explained District 8 Legislator Ira Steingart, the Legislature’s Minority Leader.

“The budget reflects that Sullivan County is leading the State in economic and employment growth, allowing County government to take proactive approaches to longstanding challenges,” stated District 4 Legislator Catherine Owens.

“I’m glad to see it pass with unanimous support,” agreed District 3 Legislator Mark McCarthy. “I thank my colleagues and our staff for all their efforts.”

“It’s important that we deliver the services taxpayers need and demand without overburdening them with huge tax hikes,” noted District 7 Legislator Joe Perrello. “This Budget hits that mark.”

“I think the good news in this budget reflects the good news Countywide,” acknowledged District 5 Legislator Terri Ward. “Our economy is humming – and just as importantly, it is not dependent on any one entity or industry. Taxpayers can and should benefit from that.”

Highlights include:

  • $6.6 million for road and bridgework throughout the County
  • $450,000 to purchase two buses and expand the service for Move Sullivan
  • $300,000 for local towns and villages to demolish unsafe structures via our RUSt (Removing Unsafe Structures) Program
  • $300,000 for the Legislature’s Discretionary Funds Program, assisting deserving nonprofits and community groups
  • $227,008 to complete a new Delaware River access point in Barryville
  • $200,000 to build a tower in Monticello in anticipation of expanding the broadband wireless pilot program (testing to commence in 2020)
  • $100,000 for the popular Plans & Progress Small Grant Program
  • $70,000 for trail enhancements along the former O&W railbed and at Lake Superior
  • $10,000 to purchase and install electric vehicle charging stations at County facilities
  • $10,000 to develop an Energy Code training program to bring local officials – especially building inspectors and code enforcement officers – up to speed on rapidly changing “green energy” technologies for residences and businesses
  • Funding to add 7 new staff members to the Care Center at Sunset Lake
  • A plan to restructure key divisions of County government

The budget also provides the necessary funds to operate two jails for a month while personnel, inmates and equipment are transferred from the old jail to the new facility.