BROOME COUNTY -Unsurprisingly, COVID was the main subject of Broome County Executive Jason Garnar’s State of the County speech Thursday night.
Garnar reflected on the efforts of county workers and departments in responding to the pandemic, including public health, the Office of Emergency Services, security, the Office for Aging, parks and rec, I-T and more.
And he spoke about the difficult financial decisions the county had to take in response to declining revenues, such as a hiring freeze and the postponement of capital projects.
Garnar says as 2021 gets going, the focus pivots to vaccinating residents at the SUNY Broome Ice Center as more doses become available.
“We’re looking at that site to do well over 2000 per day. Right now, we could do 500 per day if we had it. We’re going to massively expand the capacity of that site to prepare to vaccinate everyone in our community,” says Garnar.
Garnar says sales tax revenue began to rebound as last year went on, finishing the year down just under 3% when compared to 2019.
He says he expects the federal government to pass a relief plan that includes aid to states, counties and individual municipalities to offset their pandemic expenses and loss of revenue.
Garnar and his staff will develop virtual presentations of the address geared to towns and villages across the county.