Chautauqua County, Madison County, Montgomery County, Otsego County, Ulster County and Town of Brookhaven Awarded Total of $300,000 for Proposals to Develop Consolidation, Shared Services, and other Taxpayer Savings Plans
Winning Proposals Advance to Next Phase of $20 Million Competition
Complements Governor’s 2017 State of the State Proposal: Empower Voters to Reduce Property Taxes and Costs of Local Government through Shared Services Proposals
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced six local governments were awarded a total of $300,000 for their proposals to generate taxpayer savings as part of Phase I of the Municipal Consolidation and Efficiency Competition. The $20 million Competition is part of Governor Cuomo’s mission to reduce the heavy property tax burden in New York.
"The most burdensome tax in New York remains the property tax and this competition is designed to help local governments work together to cut costs, share services and streamline inefficiencies in order to reduce burdens on property taxpayers," Governor Cuomo said. "With this next phase of the competition, we will continue to work together to find opportunities to deliver cost-effective services and help lower property taxes."
Five counties and one town, Chautauqua County, Montgomery County, Otsego County, Ulster County and Town of Brookhaven, each formed a winning partnership of local governments to win $50,000 to further develop the plan to implement a series of projects designed to reduce the size of government and find operating efficiencies. These awards make the Phase I winners eligible to compete for the top $20 million prize for creating the most innovative plan for consolidation, dissolution, service-sharing and other cost-saving measures. The winning partnership of local governments will be announced this summer.
The Municipal Consolidation and Efficiency Competition complements the Governor’s proposal in the FY 2018 Executive Budget to empower counties to propose a shared services plan that will be presented to their voters. The work and success of the winning consortiums demonstrate the interest and the opportunities available to reduce the cost of local government.
New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said,"Each of these awarded communities has shown a commitment to government consolidation and efficiency by working together for the betterment of their county, cities, towns and villages. We look forward to the next phase and wish all the groups the best of luck. We believe that just by taking part in this process, these communities already have a better understanding of how to pursue costs-savings that will provide much-needed relief to our State’s taxpayers."
Each Municipal Consolidation and Efficiency Plan illustrates a series of projects and actions to implement changes for the involved local governments including a consolidation or dissolution of a county, city, town or village, as well as other permanent changes in governing structures.
The Phase 1 winning municipal partnerships are:
- Chautauqua County and 23 co-applicants are proposing a broad range of dissolutions and consolidations, including police, water and wastewater services, and propose starting a health consortium.
- Montgomery County and all its 21 municipalities are proposing county-wide restructuring of services and build upon existing shared services.
- Otsego County is proposing a municipal transportation and efficiency plan encompassing the Towns of Decatur, Maryland, Westford and Worcester.
- Madison County is proposing a multi-phased project, including a shared highway garage and a Geographical Information Systems initiative.
- The Town of Brookhaven’s proposal includes cross-jurisdictional and inter-municipal operations.
- Ulster County’s proposal includes a transit system coordination to eliminate overlapping routes and duplicative administrative services and a centralized fire training center to serve 50 districts.
For more information on the Municipal Consolidation and Efficiency Competition and details regarding Phase 2, go to http://www.dos.ny.gov/funding/rfa-16-lge-34/index.html