HARPURSVILLE (WBNG) — Broome County Executive Jason Garnar (D) talked about job growth, the drug treatment facility, and his plans to help schools stay safe in his second State of the County Address.
Garnar hosted his address at the Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville Monday night. He immediately began his speech, saying, "So, many of you are wondering, how did we end up in a zoo tonight?"
When asked why he held it there, Garnar said he liked seeing a hardworking and successful business like the zoo.
In his speech, Garnar addressed several issues. From fighting blight to state funding for local venues to job growth.
"Senator Akshar announced almost a half a million dollars in state funding," said Garnar.
Garnar said some of that money will go toward the Broome County Forum Theatre and the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Arena.
Regarding the new drug treatment facility at the former Broome Developmental Center in the Town of Dickinson, Garnar said the rehabilitation program, Syracuse Behavioral Health, has interviewed 175 people for available job positions.
"My understanding is most of their outside improvements and all of their inside improvements have been completed in the facility," said Garnar, referring to the organization Syracuse Behavioral Health. "The last time I talked to the CEO, Jeremy, he said they are still on track for an April 1 opening."
In light of the Florida school shooting, Garnar also addressed how he wants to keep local schools safe.
"We sent out a letter to the districts, saying if you would like to have more case workers in your schools, hire them through us," said Garnar. "We’ll be able to save you money and in this day and age, so many mental health issues that kids have, case workers are so needed in school districts."
Garnar wants a trained professional to help students with their mental health. He also said he agrees with State Senator Fred Akshar’s (R) proposal to have a resource officer on each school’s campus to keep students safe.
In addition, Garnar said he wants to have a monthly meeting with local leaders to have discussions based on this topic.
Garnar also said that his department will be visiting communities throughout the county during the entire month of March.
There they will be seeing first-hand any issues and answering questions from the people.