Ulster County Exec reviews first full year in office ‘by the numbers’

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KINGSTON – Three-hundred and fifty-nine days ago, County Executive Ryan took his oath of office for his first full term as Ulster County Executive. In his address to a packed crowd that had yet to learn the term “social distancing” he closed by stating, “…in a moment where we’re increasingly divided and gridlocked at the national level, it’s even more important that we step up and deliver at the local level. And that’s what we’re going to do here in Ulster County.”

This year, Ryan delivered on that promise in ways that no one could have imagined back in January. Here is our 2020 in review by the numbers:

$334.4 MILLION total budget appropriations laid out in the 2021 adopted budget.

$120 MILLION Ulster County businesses received from the first round of the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) with the help of the Ulster County Department of Economic Development. The funding, provided through local lending institutions, has helped to preserve over 5,000 jobs.

$48.5 MILLION dedicated to enhancing roads and bridges. This includes, among many other key projects, $4.4 million to rebuild the Shawangunk Kill Bridge in Shawangunk, nearly $3 million to upgrade the Maltby Hollow Bridge in the town of Olive, over $2 million on the Sundown Bridge in the town of Denning, and $10 million on overall road paving across the county throughout 2021.

NEARLY $3 MILLION in total funding to rebirth the former IBM site, taking long-vacant buildings and putting them back to work as a hub for artists, designers, manufacturers, and creatives.

$1 MILLION in savings by rightsizing staff at the Ulster County Jail to reflect declining inmate populations. The new arrangement will allow for the jail to be properly and safely staffed while realizing significant savings.

NEARLY $900,000 to Mobile Mental Health. For the first time, Ulster County will place a full-time social worker into the Emergency Management Department. Residents who call 911 and are experiencing a mental health crisis will be able to be met with the response of a social worker as opposed to law enforcement. This will ensure a trauma-informed care response instead of incarceration.

300,000+ MEALS delivered through Project Resilience, a community fund and local food distribution efforts established to support residents impacted by COVID-19. Within 24 hours of its inception, County Executive Ryan secured over $2 million dollars in funding and announced partnerships with municipal governments, local businesses, and not-for-profits supporting over 100 small businesses.

192,167 COVID TESTS administered in Ulster County.

98,160 ULSTER VOTERS participated in the 2020 General Election, the most in the history of the County.

$37,500 FINE PER DAY sought by the NYS Attorney General’s Office against Joseph Karolys for each violation for operating each of the three dump sites without the required State water pollution control permit. This came after County Executive Ryan wrote to the Attorney General in November 2019 calling upon them to take immediate action and investigate Karolys related to the dumping on his property within the Town of Saugerties due to the imminent harm that could be caused by the dumping activities.

35,000+ CALLS to the Ulster County Recovery Service Center generating over 13,000 requests. The RSC supports members of the community on a wide range of issues and topics, from helping residents navigate through often complex county service needs to the ability to submit general inquiries and complaints. Born out of setting up an emergency COVID call center, the RSC offers live specially-trained County staff from numerous departments at a single point of contact.

30,000+ FACE SHIELDS created through a partnership of Project Resilience, IBM, and Dutchess County. The initiative produced much needed PPE for hospital workers, local police departments, and nursing homes throughout New York and Connecticut. What started as a small production effort became one of the largest community PPE production initiatives in New York State and possibly the nation.

28,700 FOLLOWERS on social media, an over 117 percent increase since last year

10,000+ HOUSEHOLDS joined a Telephone Town Hall with County Executive Ryan and Dr. Smith on COVID-19 seven days after the first positive case in Ulster County.

3,387 RESIDENTS recovered from COVID-19.

2040 REPORT was released by County Executive Pat Ryan. Ulster 2040, an action plan for creating a sustainable and “People-Centered Economy.” The report outlines a bold, long-term vision for what our economy (and by extension our community) should and could look like in twenty years and it outlines specific recommendations and short, medium and long-term investments in four focused sectors to achieve that vision.

300 ENTERPRISE DRIVE hosted a free, socially distanced 4th of July Fireworks show sponsored by the law firm of Mainetti & Mainetti after Independence Day Celebrations were canceled throughout Ulster County due to COVID-19.

295 DAYS since the first Ulster County positive COVID-19 case.

162 PRESS RELEASES put out by the Office of the Ulster County Executive.

80 TOWN HALLS AND LIVE COVID BRIEFINGS held by County Executive Ryan where he answered questions live and unscripted from the public while announcing updates and new initiatives related to COVID-19.

61 GOLDEN HILL ROAD is the address of the former Ulster County Jail that is being converted into a major workforce and senior housing project. In partnership with the Ulster County Legislature and the newly formed joint Housing Advisory Committee, plans have been finalized to convert this dormant property into much needed housing. County Executive Ryan stressed that this type of housing will be accessible to frontline workers who’ve risked their lives during the pandemic and deserve a place for them and their families to live in dignity.

50 PERCENT RENEWABLE ENERGY through investments made in the 2021 Budget, Ulster County will be halfway towards its goal of 100% renewable energy by 2030.

14 DAYS after the first positive case of COVID-19, Ulster County opened one of the first county-run, drive-through testing clinics in the state by partnering with Nuvance Health. In the days following Ulster County was able to open a total of three county-operated testing facilities.

13 MOVIE NIGHTS held during the Ulster County Movie Night Summer Series. Presented free of charge to Ulster County residents and made possible by generous donations from nine community organizations, as well as a partnership with the Ulster County Regional Chamber of Commerce Foundation and Radio Kingston.

5 NEW DEPARTMENT HEADS appointed by County Executive Ryan: Human Rights Commission, Office of Economic Development, Ulster County Area Transit (UCAT), Ulster County Public Defender, and Ulster County Tourism.

0 PERCENT increase in the tax levy, after one of the most difficult financial times in Ulster County history, the 2021 budget also contained no layoffs and maintained – and in many cases improved – delivery of vital services across the board.