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Broome County Executive Presents First Budget Address

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BROOME COUNTY, N.Y. -

On Thursday, Broome Executive Jason Garnar presented his 2018 Budget proposal - his first as the county leader. 

"We walked into a nightmare budget situation in January and we had to be practical, we had to make tough decisions to balance this budget and we did that," said Garnar.

In addition to balancing the budget, Garnar put emphasis on public health, safety, and fighting the heroin epidemic.

"We were able to make some key investments, which we thought needed to be made to protect the health and welfare of Broome County," said Garnar.

Some of those investments include designating a Public Health Coordinator, entering a new Pharmacy Coalition, and creating new public safety positions for the District Attorney's Office, Broome County Sheriff's Office, and Office of Emergency Services.

"Our County Health Plan is $40 million and part of that plan is the cost of prescription medication, so we're entering into this coalition with a number of different municipalities and organizations to reduce prescription costs," said Garnar.

Garnar is also unfunding 18 more County positions to bring the 2018 total up to 49. 

If approved, property taxes will go up by 1.84%, which is under the tax cap set by New York State.

"The reason for that is because we have to balance our budget," said Garnar.

In total, the budget proposal amounts to around $375 million.

Broome County Legislature Chairman, Dan Reynolds called parts of the proposal aggressive.

"He was relatively ambitious on some of the programs that he talked about," said Reynolds. "We heard a lot of different things tonight that were interesting but as they say the Devil is in the details and we'll wait and see what those are."

Reynolds adds that the County Legislature will hold a series of public hearings over the next month and a half before voting on the budget in November.

You can read Garnar's full budget here.