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Rockland County Takes Out $40 Million Emergency Loan

The seal of Rockland County

The seal of Rockland County

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NEW CITY, NY (WCBS 880/AP) - Rockland County is taking out an emergency loan to pay its bills.

WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane On The Story

Acting Commissioner of Finance and Budget Stephen DeGroat says the county will borrow $40 million to create cash flow until the state repays the tens of millions that it owes.

DeGroat tells the Journal News that the loan must be repaid in a year. With interest rates at under 2 percent, he says, it will likely cost taxpayers less than $800,000.

County Executive Scott Vanderhoef says Rockland is not unique in New York state in borrowing to meet the bills while waiting for Albany reimbursements for programs such as Medicaid.

“At one point we were owed $60 million and working with the state and very closely to try to avoid having to borrow even more, the state has now helped us with $23 million over the last several weeks,” Vanderhoef told WCBS 880 reporter Paul Murnane.

This still leaves the county tens of millions of dollars short for payments to agencies running Pre-K, mental health, early intervention, and other programs.

The Rockland Legislature unanimously approved the emergency loan last week. It will pay the county’s bills and cover expenses, including payroll.

The county faces a $52 million budget deficit.

Vanderhoef says that in another time, other tax revenues would have covered the bills.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)