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Municipal Innovation Grant Program

Planning and Development
Eoin Wrafter, Commissioner


Program Overview

Dutchess County created the Municipal Consolidation & Shared Services Grant Program in 2013 to incentivize municipal projects that seek to consolidate services, produce shared services, eliminate an entire government entity, evaluate municipal consolidation opportunities and implementation possibilities, establish the regional delivery of services, and/or offer other efficiency improvements. The result must be a smaller, smarter government service or project that yields savings for taxpayers.  While the emphasis remains primarily the same, in 2017, the grant program will award funding under its new name, the "Municipal Innovation Grant Program" with a focus on Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement, Land Use/Economic Development and General Innovation.

The program is voluntary with the intent to spur innovation and identify best practices developed by and for local government agencies. The overall goal is to support local government efforts to reduce the property tax levy within all jurisdictions.

In 2017, the County set aside $1 million to support local initiatives to increase cooperation and reduce redundancy at the municipal level. There are no minimum or maximum award limits and the County intends to fund multiple projects.

Focus for 2018

The four focus areas of the grant program are Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement, Land Use/Economic Development, General Innovation and ADA Improvements.  All focus areas and subcategories are outlined below.

Priority will be given to projects that are multi-jurisdictional, leverage other funding sources, dissolve a layer of government and demonstrate savings to taxpayers, a reduction in the property tax levy or a significant increase in the municipal tax base, while providing an equal or better level of service.  Additionally, projects that are consistent with previous assessments, studies or recommendations will be prioritized.  

Eligible Entities

Each request must have one lead applicant, but municipalities are encouraged to coordinate their efforts. Activities that include other local government entities/taxing jurisdictions (e.g. fire districts, special districts, library districts, school districts, public authorities) will be considered.

Entities other than municipalities that will be the lead applicant must provide a letter of support from the chief elected official from all of the local municipalities (City, Town or Village) for which they provide services. *Please note, letters of support from the chief elected official must be submitted as a separate attachment to the application.

Eligible Activities

The County will consider applications from municipal entities in one of the following focus areas:

  • Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement:  Dutchess County has a criminal justice system that uses best practices for intervention for at-risk individuals, addressing victim's needs and reduction of recidivism.  Funding may be used for local activities which support these efforts including crisis intervention training, costs associated with participation in the County's Drug Task Force (including backfill reimbursement), and modernization and streamlining of law enforcement and court processes.
  • Land Use/Economic Development:  Land is one of the most highly regulated assets in our economy.  Excessive regulations stifle job creation and the rebuilding of our main streets, limiting housing choices for many. This funding will help communities modernize and streamline their land use regulations and review processes. 
  • General Innovation:  Transformative municipal cooperative activities that result in fiscal and operational efficiencies and/or cost savings, while optimizing municipal resources and providing an equal or better level of service. Priority will be given to entities that identify and demonstrate best practices that will result in immediate savings, efficiencies and/or an increase in revenues, while demonstrating a long-lasting community impact, including a reduction of the property tax levy. 
  • ADA Improvements:  Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires the removal of architectural and communication barriers to public facilities in order to accommodate people of all abilities.  To assist in making public facilities more accessible and lessen the tax burden on local governments, small capital grants ($5,000 - $50,000) are available to fund ADA improvements (i.e., accessible crosswalk, ramp, audio-loop for public meetings).  Additional details and examples can be found by clicking on this link.   

    Your grant proposal must demonstrate that it will result in one of the following categories

  • Dissolution of a Layer of Government: A governmental entity dissolves itself and merges operations with another  governmental entity.
  • Consolidation of Services: Functional consolidation is when one local government completely provides a service or function for another local government that will no longer engage in that service or function.
  • Shared Services: Shared services are the joint provision, performance or delivery of a service, facility, or activity by two or more local government entities that each may do separately.
  • Regional Delivery of Services: Local governments may determine that delivery of services on a regional basis is the most cost-effective method of providing services. To accomplish this, local government entities may either enter into joint agreements or transfer the service to a county or regional entity.
  • Other Efficiency Improvements: Activities that will provide significant long-term savings to one or more municipalities. Including training for programs and services that cross jurisdictional boundaries, up to 50% of these costs are eligible.
  • Municipal Consolidation Planning and/or Implementation: Planning and evaluation that may result in implementation of one of the above categories: Dissolution, Consolidation, Shared Services, Resource Delivery, and Efficiency. 
  • ADA Improvements:  Projects that will provide long-term accessibility of public facilities to ensure that people with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in activities available to the public. 

2018 Municipal Innovation Grant Program 

Notes for Application Submission:

  • The application must be submitted through the grant portal, which will be open on or around May 4, 2018;
  • The application questions are availab​​​​​le now and can be found by clicking on the Application Questions link above;
  • An email notification will be sent when the grant portal is open; and
  • Applications are due by noon (12:00 p.m.) on Friday, June 1, 2018. 

If you have any problems accessing the application materials, please contact the Planning Department at (845) 486-3600.


April 9, 2018


Application and Instructions Released.


June 1, 2018


Applications Due by 12 p.m. (Noon) via the grant portal, which will be open on or about May 4, 2018.


June - July, 2018


Application Review.


July, 2018


County Executive Announcement of Awards.


August 1, 2018


Project Year Start.



Reference Materials

If awarded funding, your organization will need to submit the following on a quarterly bases:

Here are some helpful examples of supporting documents you will be asked to submit along with the quarterly forms listed above:

Municipal Innovation - Shared Services General Reports and Resources


2017 Program


2016 Program


2015 Program


2014 Program


2013 Program

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