County Grapples With Budget Gap

Oct 5, 2012

Officials in Essex County, New York have been working to close a 13-million dollar budget gap in the 2013 budget.  While they hope a pending sale of the county-run nursing home will make a difference, they say mandate relief from the state would be more helpful.

The rural Adirondack County has one of the lowest tax rates in New York State and has been using their fund balance to hold the line on property tax increases. Essex County Manager Dan Palmer says that may not be possible much longer.

County officials do not want a substantial hike in taxes, so Palmer says they are assessing other ways to reduce the budget gap.

Among the services Essex County officials want to relinquish is the county-owned nursing home.  Officials hope a pending sale of the Horace Nye Nursing Home will help close the gap. But County Board of Supervisors Chair Randy Douglas says it will neither close it, nor provide long term budget relief.

Finance Committee Chair, Town of Moriah Supervisor, Tom Scozzafava is Budget Liaison Officer for the Board of Supervisors.  He says many of the stresses on their coffers are due to requirements at the state level.

The Essex County Budget must be finalized by the end of December.