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Tough Days Could
Be Ahead for County

By Matt Youngfrau
MONTICELLO — November 30, 2001 – The tragedy on September 11 had many ramifications. Some impacts were felt immediately. Some will take years to be fully realized.
New York State has already declared that the majority of funds available will go to rebuilding New York City. This means that a number of programs will have funding cut, and individual counties will have to pick up the tab.
This issue was discussed at a special meeting of the Sullivan County Legislature's Financial Management Committee on Tuesday. The purpose of the meeting was to put the finishing touches on the 2002 budget. It was also hoped by Committee Chair Kathleen LaBuda that an announcement would be made regarding when the budget would be passed, but that did not happen.
At the beginning of the meeting, LaBuda turned it over to County Manager Dan Briggs and Financial Management Administration Commissioner Richard LaCondré. Briggs informed the board that the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) money would be cut by approximately $380,000. Other cuts will be made in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), but that figure is not known yet. Both expressed concern over the HEAP allocation and a 25 percent cut in Intra-Government Transfers (IGT).
Government officials were not overly concerned about how these cuts would affect the 2002 budget. Their concern, according to Briggs, is over the next few years.
Also brought up was a three-year-old promise the Legislature made to Community General Hospital (now known as the Catskill Regional Medical Center) for $100,000 to purchase a van. The money for this would come out of the $1.8 million saved through the tobacco securitization.
Some questions were raised over what the van's uses will be. It was understood that it would be a mobile outreach for those that cannot get to or are not near the hospital, but it was requested that a representative of the Catskill Regional Medical Center be at the next Financial Management meeting on Thursday, December 6 to answer questions about the van.
Dominick Daniels from New Breed was there to request $50,000 in the 2002 budget. New Breed is a film company that has brought two production companies to Sullivan County to make movies. They hope to finalize the purchase of the Broadway Theater in Monticello in January. The money would be for advertising and to bring more companies here.
It was explained to Daniels that there are many agencies that could be of assistance and that the Legislature would not get directly involved. It was also suggested he talk to the Sullivan County Visitors Association (SCVA), the Empire Zone, and the Industrial Development Agency (IDA).
No decisions were made at the meeting. More discussion and some decisions will be made at the next meeting on December 6. The budget is due at the state level by December 20. It is expected that a special meeting of the Legislature will be called to pass the budget before that, but no firm date was set.

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