Monticello, NY – County Manager Joshua A. Potosek today presented a 2024 Tentative Sullivan County Budget to the Legislature that continues to reduce debt, expands existing services and avoids layoffs – without raising taxes.
“As proposed by my office, the 2024 Tentative Sullivan County Budget prioritizes what’s important to our residents: tax relief, debt reduction, road and bridge investment, and cost-effective government,” Potosek said. “At the same time, it carefully positions the County for a stable financial future.”
The $288,585,351 budget, as currently proposed, keeps the tax levy flat. It does not propose incurring new debt or dipping into the fund balance of the General Fund for ongoing operations.
Full details of the budget are available via a digital budget book at https://county-sullivan-ny-budget-book.cleargov.com/13509 (also accessible through www.sullivanny.us).
“This is more than an online budget viewing tool,” noted Potosek. “It allows users to easily search for information, quickly find what they’re most interested in, and even generate their own charts and graphs. It is an interactive way of truly understanding our most complex fiscal document.”
Highlights of the Tentative 2024 County Budget include:
- An historic $23.6 million for road and bridgework throughout the County, to be achieved without going into debt by bonding
- $2 million for a Housing Trust Fund to address the housing crisis in the County
- $2 million to provide for the design and renovation of County office spaces, as prioritized by the next Legislature
- $700,000 for the Sullivan Promise Scholarship Program, which provides up to two full years of tuition-free attendance at SUNY Sullivan for local high school graduates
- $450,000 to expand Move Sullivan’s popular bus routes to Cochecton, Eldred, Foxcroft Village, Grahamsville, Jeffersonville, Livingston Manor, Narrowsburg, Neversink and Roscoe
- $424,000 for the next Legislature to offer to eligible community nonprofits via the Discretionary Funding Program
- $360,000 to replace patrol vehicles in the Sheriff’s Office
- $300,000 (an increase of $100,000 over last year) for the Youth Bureau to fund local organizations serving youth and their families
- $300,000 to demolish blighted properties via the Sullivan County Land Bank and the Remove Unsafe Structures (RUSt) Program
- $165,000 to hire new dispatchers in the Sheriff’s Office, thus allowing two more deputies to head out on road patrol duties
- $150,000 for a Water Resource Study to map the inventory of this liquid necessity, especially in areas facing development
- $100,000 for improvements to Lake Superior State Park (which the County manages), including expansion of the beach and walking trails
- $45,000 for an Animal Control Officer to liaison with Public Health on rabies issues
In order to attract talent to the extremely busy District Attorney’s Office, the 2024 Budget proposes that all vacant Assistant District Attorney positions be set at a floor of $90,000 a year, along with salary increases for existing ADAs. Also, new positions are proposed to be added to Office for the Aging (Personal Care Aides) and Public Health (Community Health Workers and an Epidemiologist Supervisor) to boost the County’s health rankings.
“Thanks to the continuingly robust economy, the 2024 Tentative Budget can add staff and services while eliminating short-term debt,” Potosek explained. “Nevertheless, we are keeping a close eye on fiscal responsibility, and this budget ensures the County is prepared for fiscal bad weather, should it occur.”
Legislators now have until December 20 to review, discuss and adopt the budget. They may make changes to the proposed version before it is adopted, and the public is welcome to watch their deliberations during special Management & Budget Committee meetings to be announced over the next month. Meetings will be livestreamed on the Legislature’s webpage.
Formal public hearings about the proposed 2024 County Budget are set for Tuesday, December 5 at 5:30 p.m. and Thursday, December 7 at 10:30 a.m., both at the Government Center in Monticello. In the meantime, written comment is being accepted by Clerk of the Legislature AnnMarie Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 100 North Street, Monticello, NY 12701.