RENSSELAER COUNTY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — It was reported Wednesday that Rensselaer County finished the 2020 fiscal year with an $18 million surplus. County Executive Steve McLaughlin and members of the County Legislature said they will begin putting some of the savings into the community.

The $18 million surplus is said to have come despite the county dealing with the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. with County Executive McLaughlin crediting sound management for the accomplishment.

The county is said to have reduced taxes each of the past three years all while expanding important county services. For example, the county reportedly paved 50 miles of roads which is a record number of miles in a year.

“We are very proud to have met the challenges of COVID-19 during 2020, protecting and even expanding needed services, and to be able to save money on behalf of our residents,” said McLaughlin.

“Every day during the pandemic presented new challenges we have not seen during our lifetime. Credit to our managers and employees for stepping up to truly do more with less, and during trying times,” added McLaughlin.

“Now, we are ready to provide funding to many of the community organizations that keep our county strong and who may have lost funds during the pandemic or incurred additional expenses,” added McLaughlin.

County officials say the savings were generated by coming in under budget in key areas such as:

  • Personnel and purchasing during 2020
  • Strong performance for sales tax, property auction, and similar areas
  • Savings thanks to more efficient energy purchases
  • A refinancing of county debt during 2020.

Officials say the county has generated strong savings each year of McLaughlin’s term of office adding to the county surplus. The county’s annual independent audit is now being completed as well.

“This is great news for Rensselaer County and shows our county is strong, growing and well-managed during these challenging times. This gives us momentum as we work to move past COVID-19,” said Vice Chair of the Legislature for Finance Bob Loveridge.

“We are pleased to see these savings for our taxpayers and we will continue to work with the County Executive to conservatively manage county finances”, said Vice-Chair Kelly Hoffman.

“Rensselaer County continues to remain on solid financial ground, despite all of the challenges of last year. The Legislature will continue to work with County Executive McLaughlin to make sure the county’s future remains even brighter”, said Chairman Michael Stammel.