Updated 03/14/2013 06:21 PM
Broome County nets more savings through capital improvement review
Broome County Executive Debbie Preston made it one of her top priorities when taking office. Thursday, she and the Chairman of the County Legislature announced the latest round of savings. YNN's Chris Whalen has the details.
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BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – Debt. A word that makes providing services for residents a lot more difficult for Broome County officials.
"We owe it to the taxpayers of Broome County to take every opportunity to restructure and refinance debt, to reduce our debt in the long-run and eventually eliminate debt all together," said County Executive Debbie Preston.
Preston has been on a mission to reduce the county's deficit since taking office and on Thursday, the latest round of savings was announced by Preston and Chairman of the Legislature, Jerry Marinich.
"Today we're here to announce that we're paying off $2.4 million in debt, money that was repurposed during the review process," said Marinich.
County officials went over capital improvement projects and found that only $5.7 million of a bonded $8.1 was used, resulting in the savings.
The $2.4 million of excess money will be used to pay off part of the borrowed funds. The remaining debt will be refinanced, resulting in additional savings.
"We anticipate to save an additional $330,000 over the next five years due to the current market and low interest rates," Preston said.
Although that $330,000 is less than a tenth of a percent of this year's current budget, every little bit of savings adds up.
"When we're working on our budget and we've got a two percent property tax cap that we're working with, anything we can do to save dollars, whether it be dollars, pennies or $300,000 in this instance, it's extremely beneficial and helpful to us," said Marie Kalka, Broome County's budget director.
Going forward, the County also says it has implemented a new practice in which all capital projects will be reviewed regularly to find potential savings.