County to Use Some Savings to Support Community Organizations in 2021

Rensselaer County finished fiscal year 2020 with an $18 million surplus, with County Executive Steve McLaughlin and members of the County Legislature saying they will begin putting some of the savings into the community.

The $18 million surplus came despite the county wrestling with the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, with McLaughlin crediting sound management for the accomplishment. The county has reduced taxes each of the past three years and expanded important county services. For example, the county paved 50 miles of roads, a record number of miles in a year.

“We are very proud to have met the challenges of COVID-19 during 2020, protecting and even expanding needed services, and to be able to save money on behalf of our residents,” said McLaughlin.

“Every day during the pandemic presented new challenges we have not seen during our lifetime. Credit to our managers and employees for stepping up to truly do more with less, and during trying times,” added McLaughlin.

“Now, we are ready to provide funding to many of the community organizations that keep our county strong and who may have lost funds during the pandemic or incurred additional expenses,” added McLaughlin.

The county generated the savings by coming in under budget in key areas like personnel and purchasing during 2020. The county also saw strong performance for sales tax, property auction and related areas.

The county saw savings thanks to more efficient energy purchases. A refinancing of county debt during 2020 also resulted in a savings.

The county has generated strong savings each year of McLaughlin’s term of office and added to the county surplus. The county’s annual independent audit is now being completed.

“This is great news for Rensselaer County and shows our county is strong, growing and well-managed during these challenging times. This gives us momentum as we work to move past COVID-19,” said Vice Chair of the Legislature for Finance Bob Loveridge.

“We are pleased to see these savings for our taxpayers and we will continue to work with the County Executive to conservatively manage county finances”, said Vice-Chair Kelly Hoffman.

“Rensselaer County continues to remain on solid financial ground, despite all of the challenges of last year. The Legislature will continue to work with County Executive McLaughlin to make sure the county’s future remains even brighter”, said Chairman Michael Stammel.