County Executive’s Corner: “2024 State of the County Address” (By County Executive Ed Day)

I recently highlighted the incredible work of Rockland County Government employees and the continued growth of Rockland’s economy in the 2024 State of the County Address.

When I was first elected as your County Executive in 2014, we were the most fiscally stressed County in all of New York with a $138-million deficit. We’ve literally transformed this County from worst to first, ranking us one of New York’s seven fiscally strongest counties.

Our recent Rockland County accomplishments include:

 Zero property tax increase two years in a row, followed by 2% property tax cut

 Repealed the energy tax, equivalent to an 8.4% County Property Tax cut, saving families $12 million annually.

 Opted into New York State bills to expand property tax deductions for give seniors and

give volunteer first responders property tax deductions.

 Increased funding to non-profits.

 Continuing to waive bus fare for riders (since early in the pandemic).

 Equipping school buses with stop-arm cameras.

Below are some of the major highlights I presented Tuesday from our departments:

Office of Fire & Emergency Services:

• Awarded approximately $130,000 for HERROES & Edges College Tuition Reimbursement Program.

• Purchasing new breathing apparatus training maze. Public Transportation:

• Purchasing two dozen new TRIPS paratransit buses. Health Department:

• Administered nearly 60,000 polio vaccinations.

• 63% increase in visits to our immunization clinics in 2023 compared to 2022. (140% increase compared 2021)

Veterans Service Agency:

• Assisted +55% increase in claims.

• Secured +$4 million in benefits.

Economic Development and Tourism Office:

• Awarded $278,000 in Tourism Grants to 29 organizations.

Department of Social Services:

• Trained and certified 26 new foster homes for children.

• Awarded 194 housing vouchers to families.

• Increased Childcare assistance funding by $2 million. Human Rights Commission:

• Launched 3 Human Rights Satellite Offices.

Office for People With Disabilities:

• Hosting a free Accessible Family Fun Day on June 23rd featuring adaptive sports for ages 12 – 26 with special needs.

Rockland Codes Investigations Unit (RCI):

• Responded to +1500 complaints, issued 53,000 violations, and collected $130,000 in fines.

Office of Buildings and Codes (OBC):

• Conducted +2,000 inspections, issued +12,000 violations, collected $500,000 in fines.

Consumer Protection:

• Investigated 617 complaints, 166 prosecutions, and $66,000 returned to homeowners.

I concluded by diving into the housing needs in Rockland and underscored some of the findings of the County’s Housing Needs Assessment including a housing deficit of 4200 units for those making under $60,000.

We are talking about our essential workers including teachers, first responders, retail workers, government employees, and more… all unable to afford safe housing here.

Our Office of Community Development alongside Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress will present the findings of the County’s community and affordable housing needs assessment findings at the second Housing Forum on April 19th to major stakeholders including developers, lenders, DSS, HUD, and more. This study of the County’s housing needs and challenges will help be utilized to determine what funding is available and the best path forward to develop affordable workforce housing.

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