By Matt Youngfrau
MONTICELLO October 5, 2001 Sullivan County Manager Dan Briggs introduced the county budget for 2002 during the Sullivan County Legislature's Financial Management Committee meeting on Thursday.
Briggs announced a zero percent tax increase in the budget. The budget comes in at $161,845,202. Last year's budget came in at $152,639,702.
Briggs explained the increase thusly: "The growth in the budget is largely attributable to an 8.5 percent growth in the local share of Medicaid, which is New York State-mandated, and represents such areas as pharmaceuticals for our elderly and general health services for those in need. A 15 percent increase in health insurance benefits for our county employees, through collective bargaining agreements, has also been absorbed within this budget."
Other considerations included a rise in the PINS age from 16 to 18, another unfunded mandate. Briggs went on to say that this budget is the second year of a four-year budget plan. It takes into account potential growth and expense and tries not to shift the burden to the taxpayer, he said.
After Briggs' presentation, Legislature Chair Rusty Pomeroy asked a schedule be set up for the budget process. Public hearings were scheduled for Thursday, November 8 at 7 p.m. and Thursday, November 15 at 1:45 p.m., before the monthly meeting. It was not mentioned if the budget would be passed at that meeting or at the December meeting on December 20.