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.
Included in the proposal is a major restructuring of the Sheriff’s Jail Management Division, which effectively closes the downtown holding center and transfers holding center detainees to the county’s jail in Alden.— Mark Poloncarz (@markpoloncarz) June 4, 2020
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.
Gap closing measures identified in the Plan include:— Mark Poloncarz (@markpoloncarz) June 4, 2020
• 2019 Carry Forward: $29 million
• Fund Balance Usage: $25.15 million
• Capital Project Close-Out: $4.6 million
• Fringe Savings: $8 million
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.