The Erie County Legislature’s Majority Caucus has called on the County Executive to issue a Declaration of Need that would allow the County to borrow through the Erie County Fiscal Stability Authority (Control Board), saving more than $1 million. The request follows a report released by Fitch Ratings that affirms that the county’s bond rating is lower than the Control Board’s. With a higher rating, the Control Board would be able to borrow at a cheaper rate, saving taxpayer money.
“It has always been the opinion of the Majority Caucus of the Legislature that the county must borrow through whichever method is more cost effective. Every year this debate occurs and it is proven time and time again that the Control Board is the better option. The County Executive must move this process forward and issue the Declaration of Need, a necessary step to allow the Control Board to borrow on behalf of the county. It is estimated that this would save taxpayers more than $1.25 million,” said Legislator Lynne Dixon.
Chairman John Mills, along with Majority Leader Lorigo and members of Majority Caucus, Legislators Lynne Dixon, Kevin Hardwick, Ted Morton and Edward Rath, sponsored a resolution that was unanimously approved at the June 26, 2014 session, requesting the County Executive issue the Declaration of Need and allow the county to take advantage of significant cost savings. The County Executive failed to submit a Declaration of Need before the most recent session held July 10, putting the county at risk of wasting taxpayer dollars.
“The Legislature’s final session before recess is July 24 and it is imperative that the County Executive issue the Declaration of Need to allow the Legislature to approve it, along with the Revenue Anticipation Note, at our next session. Without approval of the RAN, the county cannot borrow the necessary funds to keep the government operational through the end of the year. The Legislature is firm in its position that the Declaration of Need is a critical step in this process. Utilizing the Control Board allows us to save money and that must always be our goal,” said Legislator Ted Morton. “I would hope that the County Executive wouldn’t throw away this opportunity to save taxpayer money, and that he issues the Declaration of Need immediately and put this issue to rest.”