Below is a summary overview of the 2012 State of The County Address. Please CLICK HERE to download a complete copy of the 2012 address.
STATE OF THE COUNTY 3/12/2013
Areas of note within Tioga County in 2012 and 2013 goals.
I. Overall Review of the County
- There is a strong need for mandate relief for Counties. We all need to send the message to Albany that mandate relief is essential if we are going to stay under a 2% tax cap
- Mandates from the State are responsible for consuming an increasing proportion of county budgets and are a major contributor to increases in county property taxes. Medicaid mandate will cost Tioga County taxpayers around $8.5 million in 2013.
- Retirement costs to the County for 2013 are expected to be around $3.6 million.
- Distribution of VLT Aid to municipalities and Tioga County for 2013 will be approximately $183,000.
II. County Government News:
- The Law Department reviewed 206 contracts for 2012, worked with the County’s Labor Counsel, Roemer, Wallens, Gold & Mineaux and the Personnel Department in matters relating to the administration of the civil service, personnel related challenges, benefits administration issues and the administration of labor contracts and grievances.
- Throughout 2012 the County Attorney continued to address issues surrounding the 2011 flood including document recovery, insurance issues, audit of clean up bills, sale of the Barton Transfer Station and development of the Hazard Mitigation Plan and Department Continuity of Operations Plans.
- The Personnel Department conducted 36 Civil Service Examinations in which 249 candidates participated.
- Tioga County saved approximately $800,000 during 2012 by moving 300+ employees into a High Deductible Health Plan.
- The Department of Social Services Child Protective Services received 1,043 reports involving 2,266 children.
- The Department of Social Services Preventive Unit served 74 families and 159 children in 2012.
- The Department of Social Services reported local revenues and recoveries totaled approximately $1 M. Medicaid recoveries from accident settlements, estates, and liens totaled $237,068.
- Child Support Enforcement Unit collected $5.6 M for children in Tioga County.
- The Federally funded HEAP Unit processed 9,477 benefits to customers totaling $2.9 M for the 2011-2012 season.
- In January 2012 Ride Tioga added commuter service to Ithaca via routes 38 and 79 in response to TCAT cutting this service.
- 81 Freedom of Information Requests were processed by the Legislative Clerk
- The completed Journal of Proceedings for 2012 was posted on the County website.
- The ATI Weekend Work Program conducted by Public Safety performed more than 3,928 man-hours of labor throughout the county during 2012.
- The Road Patrol Division recorded 455,745 miles of patrol, and handled 9,261 calls for service, a 1% increase from 2011.
- The Civil Office received and disbursed $542,545.73 during the year, a slight increase from 2011, $230,170 was in bail money received and disbursed.
- Pistol permit transactions increased a significant 41%, for a total of 1,043.
- Bureau of Fire provided at least 400 State Training hours of high quality fire service training and maintain at least a 90% rate of passing grades for the EMS training program.
- The Mental Health Clinic provided 16,539 services to citizens of Tioga County.
- Tioga County Alcohol and Drug Services continue to be the primary provider of outpatient and alcohol services within the County. During 2012, a total of 6229 services, including evaluation, education, and treatment intervention, were provided.
- Public Health nursing staff provided care and services to 959 patients who were admitted to the Tioga County CHHA in 2012.
- An unprecedented four elections were successfully conducted by the Tioga County Board of Elections in 2012.
- In 2012, the Public Defender’s Office covered 1,508 cases for Drug Treatment Court, Felony, and Violations/Misdemeanor and Parole Hearings.
- The Veterans’ Office had 576 total contacts in 2012 and lost 116 Veterans.
- A total of all fees collected by the County Clerk were 5.1 M, 3.2 M of it was for New York State and 1.8 M went to Tioga County.
- In 2012 a total of $122,036 in restitution, fines, special surcharges, and fees were collected and disbursed for Tioga County government and crime victims.
- Probation officers completed 353 Investigations which were ordered during 2012 by the 18 courts serviced by the Probation Department.
- The Department of Public Works managed the reconstruction/rehabilitation of four bridges, as well as rehabilitation of Glen Mary Drive.
- Recovery from the flood of 2011 progressed in 2012 with total reconstruction of the basement of the Court House, stream bank stabilization, and replacement of elevators in the County Office Building, Court House and Court Annex.
- Curbside recycling revenues for 2011 were $43,637.10, a 13.5% decrease from 2011.
- The fifth annual tire and scrap metal collection program was held in 2012 which amounted to approximately 12,000 tires cleaned up within Tioga County.
- At the end of 2011 the Tioga County Legislature permanently closed the Barton Transfer Station due to the flood of September 2011 and in June of 2012 sold the Barton Transfer Station to Taylor Garbage Services for $172,000.
III. On the Economic Development front:
- Taylor Recycling Project brought a new state of the art single stream recycling facility to Apalachin
- A $100,000 loan was given to Raymond Hadley Corp in Spencer to grow their business
- 11 Projects were completed under the NY Main Street Grant representing over $440,000 in investment and improvement to properties in the Village of Owego
- A $500,000 grant for community flood recovery was secured and was disbursed to 72 businesses in their efforts to get back in business
- Secured and distributed $265,000 of NYS Office of Community Renewal funds to assist 12 farms impacted by the flood of 2011
- Economic Development & Planning completed two 8-year agricultural district reviews
IV. Overall good news for the County
Tioga County received a clean audit opinion with no findings by the independent audit firm.
- County Sales Tax collections grew by 6% in 2012 to $20.2 M; $4.8 M was distributed to Towns and Villages
- Community College tuition billings cost $2.1 M.
- 29 properties were sold at public auction in 2012 for $117,000.
- FEMA reimbursements from the 2011 flood have totaled $4.2 M year to date.
- According to the Department of Public Works, the County replaced/reconstructed four bridges, Gaskill Road Bridge over Little Nanticoke Creek, Dean Creek Road Bridge over Dean Creek and Sabin Road Bridge over Dean Creek, Gridleyville Crossing Road Bridge over Catatonk Creek
- Sheriff’s Department operational costs came in under budget. Revenues finished 26% above our goal at $803,731.
- The 90-day hiring delay was continued through 2012, resulting in a $560,000 payroll savings for the County.
V. 2013 Goals
- Decide on what steps will be taken to solve records reconstruction
- Explore ways to meet the mandated 2% property tax without using so much of our fund balance
- Get the West Spencer Town tax map boundaries to align themselves with the County line boundaries
- Complete space allocation studies thereby improving efficiency of government to function at less costs
- Perform $800,000 in FEMA funded mitigation work on our buildings to protect critical facilities in future flood events and complete back-up 911 building
- Afford displaced Departments such as Real Property back to their own office space
- And finally reorganize office space to allow Departments to share office staff, availability of records, etc. thus increasing efficiency of government work.
VI. 2013 Future Developments
- Construction will begin on the Army Reserve Center in Lounsberry
- Construction will begin on a new hotel and conference center at Tioga Downs in Nichols
- Property improvements will being in the Village of Nichols under the $250,000 Main Street Grant
- Construct Pennsylvania Avenue Bridge and replace Gaskill Road Bridge, Lillie Hill Road Bridge over Owego Creek, and the East River Road Bridge over Wappasening Creek in Nichols
- Spend $1.2 million in NYS CHIPS funding on various road projects
In conclusion, I want to personally thank all of our department heads and employees for helping us during these challenging economics times. Through your hard work and diligence we have been able to, thus far, survive these economic hard times.