Where Broome County stands so far in 2022

From ribbon cuttings, to road work, to demolitions and major announcements, Broome County has had a busy 2022 so far, but there’s still work to be done.
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Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 7:35 PM EDT
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(WBNG) -- We’ve officially made it half way through 2022.

Municipalities across the Southern Tier - including Broome County - say they’ve been hard at work, but are no where near complete.

From ribbon cuttings, to road work, to demolitions and major announcements, Broome County has had a busy 2022 so far.

“Broome County got $37M of American Rescue Funds,” said Broome County Executive Jason Garnar. “Municipalities, including us, have started to put money and actually take money from that funding and put it into projects. So, Broome County has really focused on housing and economic development.”

Already this year, communities across the county have seen major projects.

This includes new developments at the Oakdale Mall, final touches on a new FedEx Distribution Center and adding new and affordable housing across the county; Including locations like the old IBM Country Club and Johnson City’s old shoe factory on Lester Ave.

Garnar said although the county’s unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in three decades, there’s an abundance of available jobs.

“One of the things we want to bring in is jobs, but we also need people to live here and one of the things we need that we have a shortage of is housing. So, any type of housing project, whether it’s over at old building in Johnson City at 59 Lester Ave. or it’s over at the country club or some other housing developments, we really want to put our focus there.”

However, there’s more to come through the end of 2022.

Garnar said many projects are expected to begin in the next few months, including demolition of the old IBM Country Club, even more announcements for the Oakdale Mall, and the completion of projects that have been years in the making; Like the new Broome County radio communications network for all emergency responders.

“I think this is the first month we’re actually starting to deploy them. We’re going to go agency by agency and deploy those radios and those systems throughout the community to the agencies. So, I think by the end of the year, we should have that whole system up and running, or most of it up and running,” said Garnar.

New projects are also on the way.

Garnar said the county is working on a new veteran resource center, changes at Grippen Park, an initiative to redevelop parks and broadband expansion.

“One of the biggest issues people saw during the pandemic was the lack of broadband availability. We’re probably a few months away, but we’re doing a whole study to map out all of our needs in Broome County. I would say by the end of the year we will know exactly what we need to do to build to get everybody connected to broadband.”

While we’re on the road to recovery, there’s still work to be done.

“I really think the next couple of years, we’re really recovering. We’re out of the pandemic - I’m going to go out and say - but we’re certainly not out of what happened as a result of the pandemic.”

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