News Release



For More Information:

William R. Steinhaus
Dutchess County Executive
(845) 486-2000

For Immediate Release

February 18, 1999


County Executive Trumpets Taxpayer Savings of $2.7 million Managing Government Smarter

Poughkeepsie, NY- County Executive William R. Steinhaus announced that the county has exceeded expectations regarding the estimated savings that resulted from the Intellipath Telephone System which the county installed 3 years ago. The Intellipath system proposed by Steinhaus was originally estimated to save taxpayers approximately $1.9 million over a ten year period. In a recent report to Steinhaus, provided by Central Services, a revised estimate based on the past few years has estimated the savings to be in excess of $2.73 million over that same period despite the addition of many new lines.

"This is consistent with our efforts to find ways in which we can help reduce property taxes by cutting costs and controlling spending," said County Executive Steinhaus. "I am very pleased with the savings we are experiencing since we switched over to this phone system. It has exceeded all our expectations."

The county contracted the Intellipath system through NYNEX. All county government lines are run through the NYNEX switch board, based on North Hamilton Street, for one monthly charge. Prior to the Intellipath, 41 separate fragmented systems were patched together within the county government buildings. "The old system forced the county to be in the telephone business," Steinhaus said.  "With the new system we were able to get out of the phone business and concentrate on those services and programs which directly help our residents, while reducing our costs to the taxpayer."

As the old system aged, parts were becoming impossible to locate and replacing the system with a similar system would have been astronomically expensive. The Intellipath system centralized the entire county's phone system to one location and created an independent network for county government. This meant that interdepartmental calls would no longer be charged as local calls. "Prior to this new system, if the Planning Department called the Youth Department they were charged a local call rate, despite the fact that they are in the same building," Steinhaus stated. "Since we now have an internal network, these types of calls no long incur this charge."

This leads to considerable savings in the message unit charges, or local usage charges, which have decreased over $96,690 in just three years to only $189,049 for 1998. Projections show that the county can continue these savings in 1999. The estimated cost for 1999 under the old system was in excess of $321,000.

The county has signed an agreement with NYNEX in which NYNEX agreed to freeze the county's rates for ten years. This has resulted in additional unanticipated savings. For example, the county will not have to bear the burden of the new federal telecommunications taxes which would have totaled $52,800 per year under the old system and $369,600 over the remaining seven years.

Donald C. Miller, Director of Central Services, oversees phone service for the county and creates Intellipath System reports for the County Executive and the Legislature. "Prior to getting the Intellipath system we could never forecast what our costs would be," Miller said. "Now we can forecast our budget figures with a fair degree of accuracy. We know what our costs are in advance

"Spending constraint, a key element of my Reform Agenda, has now become our corporate culture,"   Steinhaus stated. "And we will continue to actively search for other ways to work more efficiently and cost effectively."



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