NEW CITY – Rockland County Executive Ed Day announced an immediate hiring freeze for all positions within county government. This measure in the latest step taken by Day to mitigate the fiscal damage of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On March 16, the county executive imposed austerity measures which curtailed all non-essential and discretionary spending. On April 20, Rockland County filed, and was approved, for FEMA reimbursement for COVID-19 related expenses and will be filing monthly.
“It goes without saying that these are challenging times. We in county government are making every effort to stay ahead of this fiscal tsunami and prepare for any significant downturn,” said Day. “Based on the estimates of our Finance Department we could be facing as much as a $56.3 million deficit for the 2020 budget. Rest assured we are acting judiciously now in order to protect residents from the double-digit tax increases of the past.”
Day also wrote to Rockland’s federal representatives – Senator Charles Schumer, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congresswoman Nita Lowey – to ask that they include direct financial assistance for counties in any future federal stimulus bills.
“We believe this funding should be distributed through a blended formula that is based on population and the number of COVID-19 infections,” said Day. “This direct funding could help to make up for budget losses that stem from shutting down large portions of the economy. We will continue to look for any possible cost savings and reimbursement opportunities on the State and Federal levels as 2020 continues.”