2022 Executive Budget again includes a 0% tax increase and zero layoffs
County Executive Ryan’s 2022 Budget recognizes this unique moment by re-investing in mental health services, dedicating resources to build a more equitable economy, and addressing the urgent need for housing as Ulster County builds for future generations
County Executive Ryan announces re-investment in mental health and addiction recovery systems and resources, including the re-establishment of an Ulster County Department of Mental Health and a state-of-the-art Mental Health and Addiction Recovery Center to deliver integrated services for inpatient, outpatient, and crisis intervention
New Paltz, NY - Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan delivered a bold vision in his 2022 Executive Budget proposal at the Field of Dreams pavilion in New Paltz today. At $351.1 million, the 2022 budget again includes a 0% increase in the tax levy and proposes no layoffs; in fact, returning County staffing to 2019 levels after last year’s retirement incentive. Ryan highlighted a series of initiatives focused on re-investing in mental health and addiction recovery services, dedicating resources to build a more equitable economy, and addressing the urgent need for housing as Ulster County builds for future generations.
“Ulster County is on the strongest financial footing we have been in at least a decade,” Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan said. “My 2022 Executive budget will once again hold the line on property taxes with a zero percent tax increase. In addition, we will make major commitments to bolstering mental health services, addressing the housing crisis, and directly financially supporting our small businesses. For far too long, we have understaffed, underfunded, and undervalued mental health services in New York State and across our country, including right here in Ulster County. This budget puts an end to that and puts funding directly into growing our economy and caring for those most in need in our community.”
Despite another year of the pandemic, the County was able to hold the line on taxes due to strong fiscal management in response to the crisis. Once again, Ulster County received a strong credit rating of AA in the most recent ratings by S&P Global, issued in August. Ulster County is tied for third among New York State’s 62 Counties for Fiscal Stability, according to the New York State’s Comptroller’s Office (OSC). Ryan’s Executive Budget again maintains a strong fund balance to ensure the county maintains financial flexibility going forward.
2022 Budget Initiatives
Grow and Diversify our Economy for All: Ulster County Center for Economic Innovation
To continue to accelerate the Ulster 2040 strategy - supporting both existing and new businesses - the Ulster County Executive Budget invests $2,000,000 to build and launch the Ulster County Center for Economic Innovation at the former IBM site in the Town of Ulster. This new hub will bring together key economic development agencies and partners from education and workforce development sectors, the County team, along with anchor tenants from a number of key economic cluster areas.
Grow and Diversify our Economy for All: Direct Aid to Business
Over the next two years, the Ulster County Executive Budget dedicates $2,000,000 to small businesses in Ulster County. With a focus on Minority- & Women-Owned Businesses and Veteran-Owned Businesses, these funds will be critical to businesses for the purchase of new equipment, assistance with rent and even to make payroll costs.
American Rescue Plan: Housing Smart Communities
The Ulster County Executive Budget directs an additional $1.5 million to the County-led Housing Development Corporation to accelerate the demolition of the old Ulster County Jail and support the construction of 160+ units of much-needed senior and workforce housing. The budget also proposes an investment of an additional $2 million over the next two years to work with town, city, and village leaders across the County - along with trusted development partners - to accelerate the siting and construction of more housing for seniors, frontline workers, veterans, and more. Additionally, in this year's budget, for the first time, the County will hire a full-time planner dedicated to housing issues and focused on implementing the Ulster County Housing Action Plan.
Infrastructure: Trails and Recreation
The Ulster County Executive Budget proposes to dedicate $1.9 million dollars to substantially improve two of the major recreational rail trails in Ulster County and complete ongoing work that has spanned over a decade. Major improvements will be made to the 27-mile-long O&W Rail Trail, which runs from Kingston south to the Village of Ellenville, and to the 22-mile-long Wallkill Valley Rail Trail, which runs from Kingston to the southern border of the Town of Gardiner. An additional $200,000 will be made available to municipalities in Ulster County to expand other recreation facilities for residents.
Make County Government More Responsive and Responsible: Government Operations Center
The Ulster County Executive Budget proposes to construct a state-of-the-art emergency management and government operations facility that centralizes critical functions from across County government in a hardened and energy self-sufficient structure. An expanded 911 Center will better serve residents during emergencies.
Tackle the Opioid Epidemic: Expanded Mobile Mental Health
Ulster County Mobile Mental Health is a service provided by Access: Supports for Living. The program, which launched in 2015, will be expanded in 2022 to include New Paltz, adding a third Mobile Mental Health Team to respond to appropriate 911 calls.
Tackle the Opioid Epidemic: Separate Health/Mental Health
The Ulster County Executive Budget proposes to re-establish a fully functioning Department of Mental Health, helping to elevate mental health services as a top priority. This means having a full-time Mental Health Commissioner and staff who can expand and improve mental health delivery, hold our team and partners accountable, and push for desperately needed reforms at the State and Federal levels.
American Rescue Plan: Mental Health and Addiction Recovery Services
The Ulster County Executive Budget proposes to dedicate $3.3 million in federal relief funds for design and construction of the County’s first-ever Ulster County Mental Health and Addiction Recovery Center, to provide residents a single location for the full continuum of care for people dealing with mental health and addiction related illness. This first major component of this will be a Crisis Stabilization Center, which would begin to be developed in 2022. There has been success with this type of program in Dutchess County and, with a $2 million dollar jump start, Ulster County will soon see these essential services right here.
Ensure Justice for All Residents: AVERT
The Ulster County Executive Budget directs funding to the newly-created AVERT unit, which is a multi-agency team led by Sheriff Juan Figueroa and District Attorney Dave Clegg, that will use innovative, proactive approaches to divert our young people from violent crime and get illegal guns off our streets. In particular it provides funding to bolster the team with social workers and mental health experts.
Tackle the Opioid Epidemic: Youth/Mental Health Wellness Initiative in Schools
The Ulster County Executive Budget dedicates an additional $1 million to expand desperately-needed mental health resources in our schools, leveraging some of the County’s recently-announced, multi-million dollar statewide opioid settlement funds to meet this urgent need.
Ensure Justice for All Residents: Expanded Restorative Justice to Schools
The Ulster County Executive Budget dedicates funds to allow Ulster County schools to provide resources for Restorative Justice Circles, so they can divert kids away from suspension and offer rehabilitative instead of punitive outcomes. Family of Woodstock will be expanding their Restorative Justice Program to include 4 school Districts: Kingston, Saugerties, Ellenville and Wallkill at a cost of $65,000 per year.
Full Executive Budget Available Friday, October 1st.
The 2022 Executive Budget will be posted on the Ulster County website on Friday, October 1st, 2021. And, for the first time ever, the Ulster County Executive Budget will be published in an interactive, transparent, and easy to use website. Visit https://ulstercountyny.gov/budget.