GOSHEN - Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus gave his first State of the County address Tuesday night.
Neuhaus talked about the fiscal crisis the county is facing and his plans to fix a monetary mess he says he inherited from the previous administration.
“Difficult decisions have to be made,” he said. “And there must be a plan in place. Our revenue went down while our spending went up."
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Neuhaus said the county is facing a $60 million budget gap with a recent Moody's investor downgrading and the smallest reserve fund balance in 30 years. He said he plans on taking aggressive action to avoid property and sales tax increases - including layoffs, defunding vacant jobs and early retirements.
Neuhaus also talked about privatizing Valley View, the county nursing home, after years of discussion with no decision. Neuhaus said workers will no longer be county employees if Valley View is sold and privately run, which would alleviate the need for widespread layoffs.