There's hardly arguing that Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone is putting much energy into trimming the county's $300 million budget deficit, and this week the pol lauded a drop in overtime costs as helping get the county back on track.
Bellone said the county is down $9 million in overtime costs compared to the same time last year, despite having cut 650 positions from government services.
Bellone said Suffolk's current overtime charge for the year is $26.6 million, compared to $35.7 million at this point in 2011.
“Throughout our government we are controlling overtime and tackling the budget deficit,” Bellone said in a statement. “Like most businesses, the work we need to do in government can usually be done during normal working hours. If after scrutiny, we determine it cannot, then and only then do we approve overtime.”
Bellone said the biggest departments with savings are police ($3.3 million in savings), public works ($2.4 million in savings), sheriff's department ($2.1 million in savings), health services ($587,416 in savings), social services ($535,501 in savings) and probation ($249,433 in savings).
Bellone said the only department with more overtime is the Suffolk Board of Elections, which has had to support more in an election year, including the Republican primary in June. Board of Election overtime hit $796,614 compared to $271,768 last year at this time.
Bellone said the overtime drop has a lot to do with new restrictions he's placed on requesting overtime in departments as well has higher fiscal scrutiny.
County Sets Gabreski Grant
Suffolk this week said it under the New York State Empire State Development Corporation Military Base Retention Grant Program to fund an array of tech equipment to support the Air National Guard's 106th rescue wing that operates out of Gabreski Airport in Westhampton.
Bellone said the tech, which includes batteries, antennas, chargers, microphones, mobile chargers, will help the operation to better respond to emergency situations.
Suffolk said its part of the grant would be paid for by lease money generated by the at the park.
Big IDA Incentives for Hauppauge Pharma Firm
Following recent news that the to help bring more business to Hauppauge's industrial park, the county this week announced that it gave an incentive package to pharmaceutical manufacturer LNK International in order to keep it on Long Island.
LNK employs 1,600 people, the county said.
The company will get $2.4 million in property tax reductions, an $86,000 mortgage tax exemption and a $86,000 sales tax exemption in exchange for staying in the area. With the deal, LNK plans to expand in Hauppauge, buying an 110,000-square-foot building and lot and spending $2 million to renovate its existing facilities. The company owns eight buildings in the park, and the expansion, the county said, will result in 219 new jobs being created.