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Residents express concerns about increased county spending

Nov 07, 2018 1:00 pm
Sarah Trafton is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media on the public hearing held November 5 on the proposed $119 million 2019 Greene County budget. The proposed budget represents a more than 5 percent increase in spending over the current year. A presentation by Greene County Administrator Shaun Groden was followed by public comment. Scott Myers, of Catskill, was the first to take the floor, and he focused his comments on the planned $39 million jail facility. Although New Baltimore representative, Republican Patrick Linger, attempted to silence Myers on the subject of the jail, Myers made the point that the county's decision to build a new lock-up in Coxsackie was fiscally irresponsible. Robert Janiskowski, of Tannersville, also felt the jail was relevant to the budget. “I’m interested in how the county invests its money. I think the jail is at the bottom of the list [of what the county should invest in],” he said. The controversial jail bond, approved by the full legislature in September, will contribute $300,000 to the county’s debt service in 2019, according to the budget document. Janiskowski also said the effort to maintain corrections jobs was misplaced. He proposed an amendment to the budget calling for a new look at alternatives to incarceration. Phoebe Potter, of West Kill, also voiced her support for an exploration of ATI options. Joe Bulich of Catskill said he was concerned that the county was overspending. “This budget is not sustainable. People can’t afford to live here and start businesses. The county isn’t what it used to be. Why do we need all this government for 40,000 people?” Bulich asked. The budget goes to the full legislature 6 p.m., Wed., Nov. 7, at the county office buiding (411 Main Street) in Catskill. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.