ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. (WKBW) - Today, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz presented his Fiscal Year 2014 proposed Erie County Budget.
Poloncarz's budget includes:
·Providing additional operating funds for the Buffalo Convention Center and Visit Buffalo-Niagara, new funding for the Buffalo Niagara Film Commission-WNED to support cultural tourism and development, and $500,000 in new capital funds for a needs analysis of the Convention Center;
·Designating nearly $68,000 in new funding for cultural organizations following a rigorous and competitive funding process that strengthens the County’s overall commitment to cultural and arts agencies;
·Allocating $2 million for brownfield redevelopment in Erie County, in addition to providing new funding for workforce development initiatives and summits;
·Providing $100,000 in new funding for the creation of a new Greater Toronto area economic development office to assist Canadian and foreign companies to locate businesses and industries in Erie County, such as the Welded Tube investment in Lackawanna;
·Providing $5 million for work at Erie Community College to bolster College science, technology, engineering and mathematics (“STEM”) programs and educate future leaders in the vital science disciplines, and
·Creating the position of Energy Officer for the Erie County government to help the County reduce costs on electricity, natural gas, and other fuels while operating more efficiently and in an environmentally-conscious manner.
Poloncarz says the initial estimates for the 2014 Proposed Budget revealed a $29.2 million gap, which was reduced to $17.9 million through the use of strategic cuts in many departments and assessment growth.