Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $65,000 in Citizen Re-Organization Grant (CREG) awards to two municipalities in New York State to study and plan village dissolutions. CREG awards are designed to provide funding assistance to local governments to plan for and implement municipal reorganizations. The grants are part of the Local Government Efficiency Program, managed by the New York State Department of States Division of Local Government Services.
New York has no future as the tax capital of the nation and these local governments are doing their part to reduce the tax burden on local residents and business owners, Governor Cuomo said. We have made tremendous progress in cutting taxes and curbing spending at the state level over the past four years, and with initiatives like the Local Government Efficiency Program we are continuing to help local governments cut costs and make their communities more affordable places to live and work. I am proud that the State is helping these villages in that effort, and I encourage all of New Yorks municipalities to find new ways to collaborate and cut costs.
The CREG program is part of Governor Cuomo's continuing efforts to address the main driver of property taxes the high number of local governments and to provide taxpayer relief through innovative analysis of governmental functions and services. The CREG program accepts applications from municipalities throughout the year at www.grantsgateway.ny.gov.
In this round of CREG funding, the Village of Salem will receive $40,000 to initiate a village dissolution study in response to a citizens petition filed with the Village in April of this year. The study will examine the existing services and operational costs, outline the fiscal impact of dissolution and help develop needed information for the electorate prior to the scheduled dissolution referendum on August 5, 2014. If the referendum is approved by a majority of voters, the study process will transition into the development of a dissolution plan as required under New York States Local Government Consolidation Statute.
The Village of Salem is pleased to have been awarded $40,000 from the New York State Department of State to assist with the preliminary study and with the plan, should the dissolution be voted forward on August 5th, said Village of Salem Mayor Sonia Trulli. Should the Village electors vote not to dissolve the Village, rest assured the Board of Trustees will continue to work together with the Town of Salem on efficient delivery of services.
The Village of Prospect, with a population of 291, has faced significant financial challenges over the past year and as a result is considering dissolution. The Village will prepare a dissolution study and plan, as well as an analysis of alternatives prior to making a final decision about whether to move forward with dissolution. The Village will receive $25,000 toward the study, plan and analysis.
The Village of Prospect is grateful to be awarded a grant for an efficiency study, said Mayor Frances Righi. This study will help the Village Board and our electorate come to an informed decision on how to get through the dire financial situation that we find ourselves in due to two compensation claims against the Village.
CREG awards are available to communities that are considering consolidation, in order to assist them with studying the feasibility of dissolution or consolidation, or to assist with the implementation itself. Deadlines for applications are 4:00 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month. Local governments can now submit CREG applications and receive award notification online via the new Gateway Grant Opportunity Portal at www.grantsgateway.ny.gov.