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County Also Mulls
Room Tax Increase

By Nathan Mayberg
MONTICELLO — November 15, 2005 – Aside from some good news on Thursday – that the county may have more than seven million dollars beyond what it originally estimated in its 2006 budget – the Sullivan County Legislature also received discouraging news.
(Of course, the news that the county overestimated its debt by over $4 million wasn’t joyous to all legislators, some of whom were upset that the mistakes were made in the first place.)
Sullivan County Sheriff Dan Hogue reported that the jail had reached its capacity and was forced to transport 15 inmates to other facilities at a cost of $2,250 a day. The county is currently searching for a site to place a new jail, which will be the largest project it has undertaken, alongside the landfill.
Speaking of the landfill, acting Co-County Manager Harvey Smith reported that the county’s engineering consultants were continuing to work with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s regional office. He said the discussions are beginning to wind down.
Part of the county’s new savings will result from a proposed increase in the hotel room tax from 2 percent to 5 percent. Most of that new money will go to the Sullivan County Visitors Association, which currently receives an allocation of $800,000 from the county – part of which is funded by the county’s room tax.
The process of finding a new county manager continues. The list has been pared down to 23 applicants. The interviewing process will begin shortly, with several legislators and senior staff meeting with the candidates. When the list of candidates narrows down further, Legislature Chairman Chris Cunningham said the public could be allowed to have some input.

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