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Montgomery County Legislature OKs its first budget

Montgomery County Legislature OKs its first budget

The Montgomery County Legislature unanimously adopted its first budget Tuesday, and barring any furt

The Montgomery County Legislature unanimously adopted its first budget Tuesday, and barring any further unforeseen action it will take effect on Jan. 1.

The budget carries a 3 percent tax levy increase, which falls below the state-mandated cap.

After County Executive Matt Ossenfort presented his nearly $110 million executive budget five weeks ago, he and the Legislature have been working to make slight modifications. One amendment makes the county’s assistant district attorney, who was originally a part-time employee, a full-time employee, which Ossenfort says will save money in the long run.

Another amendment provides increased funding for Danielle’s House, a homeless shelter in Amsterdam that aims to house individuals and families from Montgomery, Schoharie, Fulton and Hamilton counties.

Ossenfort said he was pleased he and the Legislature were able to work cooperatively to pass a budget that will benefit the people of the county.

“Where there have been differences of opinion, we have been able to have constructive dialogue that is data driven and focused on moving Montgomery County forward in a positive way,” Ossenfort said.

The budget adds personnel to a number of agencies, including the Department of Public Works, Department of Social Services and the Montgomery County Business Development Center. It also provides funding for new DPW equipment and new patrol cars for the sheriff’s office.

Budget and Finance Committee Chairman Martin Kelly said amendments were kept to a minimum because all county officials were involved in the process from the beginning.

“This budget has seen a lot of hard work put into it over the past couple of months,” he said. “I think the result is something that we are proud of and one that I hope residents can support.”

Though the county government is still relatively new, Legislature Chairman Thomas Quackenbush said he thinks the first budget was success.

“We’ve set a strong precedent of working together to reach common goals, and this process is no different,” Quackenbush said.

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