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Rockland business group studying county's fiscal woes
It comes as no surprise to most that Rockland County's financial outlook is grim, but a business group says it is planning to conduct an independent study to determine just how bad the situation is.
The Rockland Business Association, a business advocacy group, has enlisted Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress to conduct a study of the county's finances and make recommendations for how it can dig itself out of the hole. The county has an aggregate budget deficit estimated at $95 million and its bond rating hovers a notch above junk status.
"This project is designed to provide all interested parties with a single, authoritative resource regarding the county’s financial issues,” said Al Samuels, the group's president and chief executive officer. "The paper will study the dynamics that helped create this crisis as well as discuss how the county can move forward.”
Samuels said the study will produce a "white paper" that includes an analysis of how the county's financial problems were created, research on demographics to determine if population shifts or other changes have played a role in the crisis, interviews with experts and background on how other counties have dealt with similar predicaments.
The study is expected to be completed in October, the group said.