While elected officials in Washington continue to grapple over the next COVID-19 financial relief package, local governments like Broome County are staring down some very hard spending choices. 

Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News (file photo)

  

County Executive Jason Garnar says with 80 percent of program spending mandated by New York State, the County has little in the way of choices for making cuts as revenue could be down as much as $20  as a result of the pandemic.  Entire departments could lose funding including parks, the Forum Theater or Arena if federal help does not come soon. 

Garnar says the county has already furloughed dozen of workers but many of those are coming back from the voluntary program after the 600-dollar supplemental unemployment benefit expired over the weekend and funding has been cut to SUNY Broome Community College.  Other discretionary costs like Sheriff’s Department Road Patrols are off limits for cuts.  The Democrat says with a majority of the county’s only law enforcement resource being Sheriff’s Deputies, those patrols cannot be eliminated.

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Garnar and others are nervously watching the stalemate on Capitol Hill as the regular Senate summer break looms at the end of the week.  The County Executive says there should be no summer vacation if officials don’t get their work done first.