ENDWELL, N.Y. — Broome County Executive Jason Garnar highlighted recent success in the county and laid out his agenda for the coming year at his 2023 State of the County address on Wednesday Feb. 22 at the O.L. Davis Fire Company in Endwell.
In his address, Garnar highlighted progress that he says Broome County has made in recent years, including the transformation of Oakdale Mall into Oakdale Commons, the demolition of the former IBM Country Club to make way for new housing, and the demolition of buildings on the former IBM campus in Endicott planned for this spring. He also highlighted Victory Lofts set to open in Johnson City, new FedEx and Amazon warehouses, and the production of the first lithium-ion batteries made in America at Imperium 3 in Endicott.
Garnar also touted the county’s improved finances, its commitment to repairing and replacing infrastructure, and new transit and airport opportunities.
However, the county executive conceded the county still faces numerous challenges, including the cost of living, housing needs, availability of high-speed internet, and a need to attract and retain qualified employees.
Another area of concern is the recently proposed state budget, which includes a large shift in Medicaid costs to counties, which would result in an immediate $5 million hit to Broome County, Garnar said.
An additional proposal that caps how much revenue Broome County could generate through real-property sales, along with additional unfunded mandates, would create a $10 million gap in the county budget, he added.
“We will do everything we can to fight these harmful proposals, and I have spoken with our local state representatives who have pledged their support for Broome County,” he said during his address.
This was Garnar’s seventh State of the County address. He and his staff plan to further share this information with local governments and community groups through a State of the County tour.