Broome County Executive Jason Garnar is making a number of changes to bring Broome County out of fiscal stress.
On Thursday, the Democrat discussed what he calls troubling findings within Broome County finances.
In 2016, assigned attorney costs went overbudget by $500,000, with Coroner costs exceeding its budgeted amount by $125,000.
The county was expecting to receive around $850,000 from medical marijuana revenue, which generated only $1,600.
Garnar is also concerned about spending $2.7 million in the county’s fund balance, with $1.4 million of that going to restore the municipal 50/50 tax split.
He says the county is not prepared for the unexpected.
“You need to have a little bit of money in the bank for a rainy day. Look at the types of rainy days that we’ve had. Two floods in the last 10 years, a possible ACA repeal, the comptroller continually citing us for being stressed, our own auditors say we have a serious problem. The fund balance is extremely unhealthy and we need to do something to build that up,” said Garnar.
To save money, Garnar has initiated a county government hiring freeze and a non-essential travel ban for county employees.
Garnar will be attending a conference this weekend where he will take his own car and pay for gas and expenses.
Finally, State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has agreed to do a full Broome County audit which will begin in the coming weeks.