Tioga County, N.Y. has remained busy over the last couple of weeks working to maintain public safety during our recent snow, rain, and flood events. The county also continues to grapple with anticipated budget woes, as well as tracking, tracing, and trying to reduce the spread of the coronavirus in our community. Needless to say it’s been a very difficult month, and a very difficult year.
On Tuesday, Dec. 29, the county reported 1,651 confirmed cases of coronavirus since the pandemic began earlier in the year. This number is an increase from less than a week earlier, Dec. 26, when 1,599 confirmed cases were reported (to date).
Tioga County Legislative Chairwoman, Martha Sauerbrey, continues to report that community spread continues in every town and village in Tioga County, and is led by ongoing small social gatherings. As of Tuesday, there were 190 active cases reported in Tioga County.
“Everyone is encouraged to practice ongoing social distancing, wearing masks, and to stay home if you are sick or have symptoms,” Chair Sauerbrey emphasized in a press release earlier in the week.
To learn more about the pandemic and coronavirus in the region and to find resources, visit https://covid19.tiogacountyny.com, call the Tioga County Coronavirus Response Hotline at (607) 687-8225, call the Coronavirus Hotline at 1-888-364-3065 (for general questions or information about COVID-19). For state guidance, visit https://forward.ny.gov/.
Regarding this year’s budget, the County has released its details at www.tiogacountyny.com/media/8952/tioga-county-2021-final-adopted-budget-revised-12-29-20.pdf. Some of the highlights include the impact from the pandemic, as well as budget challenges in the upcoming year.
In this year’s 2021 Budget, the tax levy increase will come in under the property tax cap at $24,948,721, for an increase of 1.19% over last year’s budget.
Challenges from the pandemic are apparent through major revenue losses this year in Sales Tax, Occupancy Tax, and Gaming Revenues from Tioga Downs, combined with the continued threat of State Aid cuts.
In the budget, the county outlined the implementation of a COVID19 Financial Response Plan that executed a 10% reduction of all non-salary or mandated service expenditures from the budget, travel and training restrictions, and a temporary hiring freeze. The county has also cut 10% from non-salary or mandated service expenditures.
The budget was adopted on Dec. 15, 2020, and is available online. Visit www.tiogacountyny.com.