By a 20-2 vote, the Ulster County Legislature, Monday, approved the 2023 spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year beginning January 1. The $378 million county budget comprises the means to provide services to 183,000 county residents and maintain vital county operations. It also represents a three-percent decrease in the tax levy, according to Acting County Executive Johanna Contreras.
“This budget was a collaborative process between the Legislature, the Executive, our hard working departments and the public to ensure the needs of our community are met and services are provided as efficiently as possible. I am proud of the bipartisan work of the Legislature in delivering a commonsense spending plan that will improve lives without raising taxes,” said Chair Tracey Bartels (District 16 – Gardiner, Shawangunk).
Minority Leader Ken Ronk (R-Shawangunk) said attention was given to the county’s first responders.
“This budget represents months of hard work to diligently manage county finances during one of the most fiscally challenging times in recent history. I, and the Republican Caucus are especially proud of the increase in attention and support dedicated to Ulster County First Responders and Law Enforcement personnel to provide them with the resources necessary to respond to crises,” Ronk said.
Contreras said the county is on solid financial footing, thanks to a record of solid financial management.
“The 2023 Executive Budget reinforces Ulster County’s commitment to serving its residents by investing in essential services, reducing taxes to relieve the fiscal pressures residents are feeling and committing to our shared priorities for the future,” she added.
The approval came after two hours of votes on amendments. Following the budget vote, Johanna Contreras said it “will allow Ulster County to hire critically needed additional front-line staff to meet increasing demands on our emergency management, social services, environmental health, mental health, aging and public safety services.”