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Legislators approve resolution requesting meeting with ECFSA Board to review $100 million borrowing plan


Members of the Erie County Legislature have requested that the Erie County Fiscal Stability Authority (ECFSA) Board appear at the next Finance and Management Committee meeting to discuss the new plan that would allow the ECFSA to borrow on behalf of the Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) new emergency room. To account for the borrowing the County Executive has submitted a Declaration of Need, which requires Legislative approval.

 

“The County Executive issued the Declaration of Need on Monday and the Legislature has not yet reviewed the proposal with the Erie County Fiscal Stability Authority, despite several attempts to have them address the Legislature.  I believe it is important that the ECFSA Board of Directors present the plan and publically answer any questions the Legislature may have before hundreds of millions of dollars are borrowed and the county incurs new debt,” said Chairman John Mills.

 

“It is important that we hold a public discussion on this topic with members of the ECFSA Board of Directors, representatives from the budget office, ECMC and Comptroller’s Office in order to fully vet this new plan. Throughout this process, all sides have agreed that a transparent and thorough discussion of the proposal was critical. We need to continue that approach with this new plan that the ECFSA is said to have proposed.  The fact that they refused to discuss this $100 million dollar project publicly is troubling,” said Majority Leader Joseph Lorigo, Chairman of the Finance and Management Committee.

 

“The plan to borrow through the ECFSA will save millions of dollars and makes sound financial sense for Erie County. I look forward to a full discussion on the structure of the loan package next week in our Finance and Management Committee. The Legislature will need to vote on the Declaration of Need, submitted by the County Executive, but before we take that action, this item needs to be publically vetted,” said Legislator Edward Rath.

 

“This is more than $100 million borrowing plan we are talking about. It is also a great deal of new debt that Erie County taxpayers are on the hook for. The ECFSA, administration, ECMC and Legislature owe it to the taxpayers to vet this issue in public, transparent meetings. For eight months many discussions were held when the County Executive wanted the county to do the borrowing, that plan was rejected by the Legislature, and now that we have a new proposal, we need to take the time to discuss and insure the is in the best interest of everyone involved,” said Legislator Ted Morton.

 

The resolution was approved (11-0) at Thursday’s session.