NEW CITY, N.Y. – County officials on Wednesday announced a series of actions that will provide Rockland County Sheriff’s deputies with a contract, fund 32 community organizations through 2017 and lay a groundwork for the future of a county-owned building.
The announcement came in a joint press conference and statement from Rockland County Executive Ed Day and Rockland County Legislative Chairman Toney L. Earl.
“We are able to put our differences aside for the good of the people of Rockland,” Day, a Republican, said in the statement. “We are very proud that we have reached these agreements and we look forward to working with our partners in the Legislature to strengthen our finances and provide the top-rated services that the people of Rockland deserve.”
Earl, a Democrat, echoed Day’s sentiments, adding that while some points of contention may yet arise as the lawmakers and executive move forward, he is confident solutions can be found.
“I want all of us to remember this day ... when we returned to the table, we communicated, we compromised and we collectively reached a conclusion for the benefit of the residents of Rockland,” Earl said.
According to the statement, the issues on which agreements were reached include reaching a settlement on a contract for deputies in the Rockland County Sheriff’s Office. The deputies, officials said, have worked without a contract for the past six years.
Under the terms of the agreement, the contract covers the years between 2011-2016 and includes a retroactive 2 percent salary increase for 2014, 2015 and the first half of 2016. For the second half of 2016, the deputies will receive a retroactive 3 percent raise.
County officials also reached an agreement that will fund 32 community benefit organizations through the end of the year, according to the statement. Among those groups are Cornell Cooperative Extension, Child Care Resources of Rockland, the Association for the Visually Impaired and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rockland.
According to officials, the 32 organizations received half of their funding – nearly $674,000 in total -- in January. The recent agreement provides funding for the second half of the year. When the organizations will receive those funds was not clear.
Day and Earl said an agreement on the Tax Anticipation Note also was reached, which will provide the county with a $60 million note that “acts as a bridge loan so we can pay school districts, towns and villages the taxes that they have levied.”
Without the note, officials said, Rockland’s schools, towns and villages would shut down.
Also moving forward are talks for the county-owned Sain building, according to officials, who said the topic will be discussed during an upcoming special joint meeting of the Legislature’s Planning & Public Works and Budget and Finance committees.
“We hope we can continue to work together to make positive changes for Rockland County,” Day said in the statement.
“It’s a good day for Rockland County government and most importantly, it is a good day for Rockland County residents,” he said.