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Suffolk Notebook: Overtime Drops, Pharma Firm Stays Put

County executive says only the board of elections has logged more overtime.

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.

Erin Schultz September 01, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Gayle Dierze Freeborn ommented on North Fork Patch's Facebook link: "Load of crap!!! Foil the salaries of all the political cronies Balloney (damn "auto correct"... ironic that this is what it changed his name to LOL) hired before during and after the mass layoff who are making big bucks. The REAL employees may not be working OT, but that doesn't mean the actual payroll costs went down....just the number of hours worked in OT.....no savings to the taxpayers or the budget!!"
North Fork Bob September 01, 2012 at 07:30 PM
Independent auditors should sweep into Suffolk.They should go over every independent contractor the County uses.Boces should be the first stop.Take a very close look at the transportation.Each individual bus route.Then go on from there with a fine tooth comb.
Justin Time September 02, 2012 at 12:26 PM
The tax payers are to blame for the political mess. Keep voting them in and cry about the outcome..Silly people....
North Fork Bob September 02, 2012 at 01:29 PM
When you vote you have two choices bad or worse.Two sides of the same coin.

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