MONTICELLO, NY — The Solid Waste Access Fee that is levied on all building owners in the county has always been controversial, in part because all property owners are not charged the same fee …
MONTICELLO, NY — The Solid Waste Access Fee that is levied on all building owners in the county has always been controversial, in part because all property owners are not charged the same fee based on the amount of solid waste produced at their buildings. Still, the county deemed the fee was necessary to help pay for the cost of maintaining the closed landfill in Monticello.
In presenting the proposed 2019 county budget, Sullivan County Manager Josh Potesek said that, while the debt will not be fully paid until 2026, the debt payments will be significantly reduced in 2019. “For commercial users, the fee will drop from $300 to $200 per year, and from $120 to $80 per year for residential users,” he added.
That was one of the highlights of a $235,196,663 budget. Another is that property taxes are due to shrink for many property owners. According to a press release, “the average property taxpayer will see the county portion of their tax bill decrease by 1.6%, or approximately $19 per $100,000 of assessed value.”
The press release laid out some of the priorities. The budget will set aside $8.8 million for road and bridge work throughout the county, in addition to an already-approved $10 million bond that’s replacing five aging bridges; $200,000 for local towns and villages to demolish unsafe structures; $200,000 to undertake an environmental analysis of potential shovel-ready sites along Old Route 17 in the towns of Liberty and Thompson and $200,000 for a broadband pilot project that will bring high-speed Internet access to underserved areas of the Village of Monticello and Town of Thompson. If successful, this venture can be replicated countywide, utilizing existing county communications towers. The budget also includes $150,000 for new public transportation routes, set to debut this April; and funding to increase the minimum wage for all county employees to $15 an hour—beyond the state mandate—in order to attract and retain qualified personnel in a competitive market.
A public hearing on the proposed budget will be held December 11 at 5:30 p.m. at the government center in Monticello and December 13 at 9:30 a.m.
Legislators will review the budget and vote on the final version by December 13.