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Deficit reduction plan proposed by Erie County Executive includes closing holding center, other cuts

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Posted at 2:58 PM, Jun 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-04 17:15:31-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — In a news conference on Thursday on Erie County's deficit reduction plan, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz announced his plan to address a projected $138 million budget deficit due to the COVID-19 crisis.

The deficit reduction plan has been submitted to the Erie County Legislature, and implementation would be contingent on the legislature's approval. Poloncarz added on Twitter that federal funding may prevent some or all cuts from being made.

The plan includes $40 million in departmental cuts, including a "major restructuring" of the Erie County Sheriff's Office's Jail Management Division. Poloncarz said the restructuring would shut down the Erie County Holding Center in Downtown Buffalo and transfer people detained there to the Erie County Correctional Facility in Alden.

The plan also relies on use of existing fund balances and savings to close the gap, including $25.15 million in fund balance usage and $8 million in fringe savings.

The deficit reduction plan is not a done deal; the plan must be approved by the Erie County Legislature. In addition, Poloncarz said the plan would only be executed if federal assistance did not come to local governments.