After a week of feuding, County is still willing to work with City on finances

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After a week’s worth of turmoil, Chemung County is ready to sit at the table and move forward with the City of Elmira’s ongoing financial issues.

“We’ve done a lot for them and we’re glad to do it,” Tom Santulli, the Chemung County Executive, said. “But you know what, let’s have honest dialogue and lets be open about this and lets not make up things that are not true. Let’s work together and get the job done.”

At a special county legislature meeting, Santulli made a special appearance and went over the CGR report. The report stated that the city gained $1.6 Million. That figure was backed by Santulli.

But Elmira Mayor Daniel Mandell said that the city lost roughly $2.9 million because of a change in the sales tax formula.

Since then, the two sides have come to agreements on certain facets. One being the city does save money on shared services, a factor Santulli said since the start.

“We’ve proven that we can work together and do things together, save money and you can still have a healthy fund balance,” Santulli said.

He is not alone. City officials said they share the same thoughts.

“It’s frustrating at times that the two entities- the county and the city- can’t sit down,” Michael Collins, the Elmira City Manager, said. “It’s very challenging at times.”

“We need to work together,” Brent Stermer, Elmira City Councilman for the city’s second district, said. “We need to stop being divided and focus on the success and the future of our county and our city.”

Now, there may be the chance of warmer negotiations and relations.

“Let’s move forward, pure and simple,” Santulli said. “I said tonight that we’re willing to sit- we’re willing to sit.”

Santulli said city and county officials will be meeting with state officials by the end of the week. He said they will discuss ways to help manage the city’s finances.

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