Neuhaus: “… stronger than ever …”
GOSHEN – Speaking to a packed auditorium at the Orange County 911 Center, County Executive Steven Neuhaus delivered his third State of the County address on Tuesday evening under the theme, “Making a Difference.”
The county executive said that his administration “cut the county budget by $11 million in 2015,” and by reducing spending the county avoided using county fund balance last year.
“Orange County government, the year before I took office, used $36 million of their fund balance, their rainy day account, to balance the budget,” Neuhaus said. “Last year, we used zero. We didn’t use one bit of our fund balance to get through the budget. That’s how much savings we’ve been able to make.”
Neuhaus said the state of Orange County “is stronger than ever and our future looks bright. Our economy is healthy, our quality of life is second to none, and our county government is progressive. I’m proud of the difference my administration is making in Orange County.”
A new initiative that the county executive announced was his intention to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Orange County Industrial Development Agency to redevelop Camp La Guardia in Chester and use it as a “shovel ready commercial property” consistent with local zoning.
Neuhaus also said that his administration has identified marketable property, portions of Valley View Center for Nursing Care and Rehabilitation, and “submitted local law to create new healthcare opportunities” for this adjacent tract of land, which can then be placed on county tax rolls.
In highlighting some of his administration’s accomplishments, Neuhaus said that more than 7,400 new jobs were created in Orange County since January 2014 – according to the state Department of Labor, county taxpayers saved $7.6 million due to the refinancing of bond sales, the county unemployment rate is down from six to 4.5 percent – beating state and national averages, and that county property values are rising.