Thursday, October 4, 2018




Odell unveils nearly $160 million budget

MAHOPAC FALLS – Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell outlined her 2019 budget Wednesday evening at the Putnam Golf Course in Mahopac Falls.

The fiscal spending plan totals $159.8 million, a $4.5 million increase over the current budget with the average homeowner expected to pay $1,000 for a residence assessed at $277,000 on their county tax bill come January 1, an increase of $24 over this year’s budget.

In a continued effort to take on the opioid crisis head-on, Odell has added a second assistant district attorney to the drug task force.

“We feel if we don’t add an additional person, we could very well become a county where dealers think it’s a free ride because we can’t keep up with the volume,” she said.

Odell noted the county portion of a residential tax bill was 9.1 percent, the lowest of any county tax bill in New York’s 62 counties where the average ranges 25 percent.

Odell said her budget would continue to protect taxpayers while “preserving essential services and providing economic growth. Balancing the fiscal accountability to the taxpayers while meeting the social responsibilities to our residents continues to be my administration’s priority and our proposed budget provides a roadmap to continue moving Putnam in a positive direction. ”

During the 90-minute presentation, the executive who is seeking reelection next month noted the county has maintained its Aa2 Moody’s bond rating while reducing long-term debt from $88 million in 2011 to $75 million by year’s end.         

Short-term debt totaled $17.2 million when Odell assumed office in 2011. Today that number is zero.

The executive talked about the county’s operating expenses: $7.3 million for the sheriff’s office; $6.8 million for the Office of Senior Resources; $5.4million for retiree health benefits; $4.5 million for emergency services; $4.7 million for parks and recreation; $17.8 million in fund balance, $3 million for the county’s municipal bus system known as PART, $2.9 million for outside agencies such as the SPCA, libraries, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Putnam Arts Council, Southeast Museum, Putnam Historical Museum, Community Action Program and $3.2 million for operating expenses.

The county legislature will review the spending plan line-by-line starting next Tuesday.


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