The 2016 Executive Budget Continues County Executive Hein’s Tradition Of Responsible And Innovative Budgets That Protect Ulster County Taxpayers, Ensures More Services Than Ever Before, Funds The Second Part Of A Two year $30 Million Upgrade Of County Roads and Bridges And A Record Commitment To Public Safety
Kingston, N.Y. – October 1, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Today, on the campus of the new, state-of-the-art Kingston Center of SUNY Ulster, Ulster County Executive Mike Hein delivered the 2016 Executive Budget. Property taxpayer relief remains a constant in this year’s budget which carries a 1.1% property tax cut for Ulster County residents with no reduction in services or layoffs. The release of the 2016 spending plan, which represents a $4.5 million reduction in county spending compared to last year and a combined reduction of $32.8 million since 2012, comes on the heels of the New York State Comptroller’s Fiscal Stress Report that again listed Ulster County as the most financially stable county in the Mid-Hudson Region and the fourth most across New York State.
The 2016 Executive Budget also includes such major highlights as:
- A 1.1% reduction in the property tax levy in 2016;
- A $4.5 million reduction in spending while protecting essential services;
- Continuing the historic “Building A Better Ulster County” infrastructure investment program with an additional $15 million, for a two year total investment of $30 million;
- A record multi-million dollar commitment to public safety, including the first county-wide fire training center and 911 emergency technology upgrades;
- Critical funding to fight the national tragedy of heroin addiction consistent with recommendations from the Ulster Coalition Against Narcotics (UCAN);
- Continued funding for the successful “Career Ladder” job creation program to enhance the County’s vibrant workforce;
- An expanded Meals On Wheels program for seniors that makes “professional care coordinators” available to seniors to help with a transition from a hospital stay to home.
“Last year I made a promise to the hardworking men and women of Ulster County, to lower their property taxes; and so, for 2016, Ulster County Property taxes are going down – again, and by almost $1 million. This budget continues my administration’s commitment to being both fiscally responsible as well as socially responsible and we have accomplished this in an era of complex fiscal stressors that have severely challenged all local governments,” said Ulster County Executive Mike Hein. “Last year delivered an unprecedented $15 million investment in our aging infrastructure, and I am proud to say that the 2016 Executive Budget builds upon the historic “Building A Better Ulster County” program by investing an additional $15 million for 2016. In addition to protecting taxpayers and upgrading our roads and bridges, we remain committed to protecting those who are most vulnerable. Our seniors will continue to enjoy popular programs such as RSVP which the County assumed last year as well as an expanded Meals On Wheels program that provides for “professional care coordinators” to help some of our most vulnerable seniors who may have no one else to turn to for help, transition from a hospital stay to returning home. We have provided funding for free legal services to Veterans who are having difficulty securing the federal benefits they have so justly and bravely earned; and this budget contains significant funding to fight the national tragedy of heroin abuse as recommended by the Ulster Coalition Against Narcotics.”
“On top of the continued and expanded services our residents expect and deserve, overhauled and improved roads and bridges, this year’s budget incorporates a $4.5 million reduction in spending,” continued County Executive Hein. “In fact, since 2012, County spending has decreased by $32.8 million, and the reality is that Ulster County government costs less today than it did all the way back in 2009, before my administration took office. This has only been possible by reforming government, increasing accountability, improving transparency and the presence of a tireless and dedicated County workforce that I am honored to lead.”
“It is so important to invest in Ulster County, its infrastructure, our people, and our future, which is why we chose to deliver this budget at the Kingston Center of SUNY Ulster, a place that represents our commitment to change the trajectory of the lives of area students and expand the promise of accessible higher education for everyone,” concluded County Executive Hein.
Holley Carnright, Ulster County District Attorney
“County Executive Hein and I work closely on issues affecting our community and I am thrilled to see his commitment to fund a special family advocate to help families deal with insurance companies and complex state bureaucracies as they contend with a loved one’s addiction,” said Ulster County District Attorney Holley Carnright. “Families are devastated when someone they love has a drug addiction and an advocate can assist them in connecting with the right services.”
Paul Van Blarcum, Ulster County Sheriff
“I greatly appreciate County Executive Hein’s commitment to Ulster County Law Enforcement by providing the funding necessary to continue our road patrols and ensure our deputies are well-equipped and have the critical tools needed, such as the technology upgrade of our entire Emergency 911 and dispatch centers which will allow us to respond quickly in emergencies,” said Paul Van Blarcum, Ulster County Sheriff. “These important improvements will cut down on our response time as we serve and protect Ulster County residents.”
Susan Plonski, Esq., Commissioner of Department of Public Works
“This is an extraordinary and unique opportunity to build the County’s infrastructure better than ever before, making it safer for those who travel throughout our beautiful County. County Executive Hein’s fiscal responsibility has allowed Ulster County to address infrastructure in a way other counties simply cannot afford,” said Susan Plonski, Commissioner of Department of Public Works. “I am proud that in 2015, the Department of Public Works has completed upgrading and re-surfacing more than 89 miles of roads which more than doubled our typical annual repaving plan. This investment in infrastructure benefits all the residents of the County now and into the future.”
Michael Berg, Executive Director of Family of Woodstock, Inc.
“I am thrilled that the 2016 County Budget proposed by County Executive Hein includes funds to continue Family’s highly successful One80 Youth Diversion Program,” said Michael Berg, Executive Director of Family of Woodstock, Inc. “This program has been critical in applying restorative justice practices that have allowed some of our most at risk juveniles to stay out of the court system, while assisting them in turning their lives around. I want to thank County Executive Hein for stepping in when we lost state funding to make sure this important program remains in place for our youth. I believe that our County is very fortunate to have leadership which recognizes the importance of human services, particularly for those most in danger in our community.”
Steven J. Peterson, Director of Ulster County Emergency Communications
“The Fire Training Center is exactly what is needed from an emergency response perspective and is an investment in technology and training for firefighters, law enforcement and first responders,” said Steven J. Peterson, Director of Ulster County Emergency Services. I appreciate County Executive Hein’s commitment for safer and better training for the men and women who protect our residents every single day and his leadership has made this a reality. Not only does he understand and appreciate the importance of having this much needed Fire Training Center in Ulster County, he knows the importance of working closely with the Fire Service to create a facility that will serve as a key training point for Emergency Services which will in turn benefit our residents throughout the County.”
Everett Erichsen, Chairman, Board of Directors of the Ulster County Fire Chiefs Association
“A county fire training center has been a discussion amongst fire departments in Ulster County for a very long time,” said Everett Erichsen, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Ulster County Fire Chiefs Association. “County Executive Mike Hein recognized how critical this project was to the safety of the firefighters that protect the communities in Ulster County. On behalf of the Fire Chiefs, I thank him for his leadership in making this training center a reality.”
For 2016 Executive Budget Documents please visit http://ulstercountyny.gov/budget/
Pictured above: County Executive Mike Hein presenting the 2016 Executive Budget