Tioga County Legislative Chair, Martha Sauerbrey is on the weekly, local public affairs program, Southern Tier Close Up to offer her insights on how her county has been dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo by Kathy Whyte WNBF

Sauerbrey says while Tioga County is more rural in make-up than Broome, it has been facing many of the same challenges since the coronavirus began to spread through the region in March. Tioga, however, does have some unique components with two private nursing home facilities and major employers like Lockheed Martin and Tioga Downs Resort and Casino that have been impacted in their own ways by the pandemic and the state-wide PauseNY shutdown.

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Sauerbrey, who worked for years in the Tioga Chamber of Commerce and the county legislature before becoming legislative chair, says she never anticipated in the years she's served as Tioga County's "unofficial head cheerleader" anything like having to deal with the social, health and economic impacts of a global pandemic.

While Tioga and the other counties in the Southern Tier Economic Development Region face a huge hit to their budgets between possible cuts in state funding and a major drop in sales tax and other revenues, Sauerbrey says the community nestled between rolling hills and the Susquehanna River is able to rest a little on a bit of a fund-balance, but that won't last much longer.

Many more aspects of how Tioga County is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic can be heard on Southern Tier Close Up Sunday at 6 am on 99.1 The Whale.