Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone unveils $2.75 billion 2014 spending plan

Suffolk unveiled a new spending plan Friday aimed at helping the county get its finances back on track. The $2.75 billion proposed budget is $22

The $2.75 billion proposed budget is $22 million less than last year's spending plan.

The $2.75 billion proposed budget is $22 million less than last year's spending plan. (9/20/13)

WOODBURY - Suffolk unveiled a new spending plan Friday aimed at helping the county get its finances back on track.

The $2.75 billion proposed budget is $22 million less than last year's spending plan. It includes a number of cost-cutting initiatives that still need legislative approval, including a freeze for general fund taxes.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone says his plan is under the 1.66-percent state property tax cap, reduces the deficit and does not cut vital services.

Among the cost-cutting measures included in the 2014 budget is transitioning remaining health centers to the Federally Qualified Health Centers to save $3 million.

The budget also seeks state legislation to transfer park police officers to the Suffolk County Police Department and hire park rangers and public safety officers to provide security at parks during peak season. Bellone says this initiative would save the county $1 million a year and cut police summer overtime.

Bellone also says merging the offices of comptroller and treasurer into one department would save the county $833,000. This measure is subject to Suffolk voters' approval.

Suffolk Minority Leader John Kennedy says the proposed initiatives are dependent on state action and voter approval.

The text of the plan is nearly 1,100 pages thick.

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