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Poughkeepsie … Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro announced the availability of $1 million in funding through the County’s 2018 Municipal Innovation Grant Program, which seeks to fund innovative projects that spur municipal partnerships and can provide savings for taxpayers, while maintaining or improving the quality of service provided to Dutchess County residents. This is the sixth consecutive year County Executive Molinaro has allocated funding for the program, having received broad support of the County Legislature.
County Executive Molinaro said, “We recognize the importance and need to consolidate and share services at all levels of government, first focusing on consolidation within County government. The County consolidated multiple departments, closing a $40 million budget gap in 2012 to a budget surplus today - while modernizing government and cutting the county’s tax levy each of the last four years. Concurrently, our municipal grant program was implemented, encouraging local leaders to save money, shrink the size of government and reduce the tax burden.”
Municipalities can apply under one of four focus areas: Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement, Land Use/Economic Development, General Innovation and ADA Improvements. In addition, communities must be able to demonstrate that the project will result in Shared Services, Consolidation of Services, Regional Delivery of Services, Dissolution of a Layer of Government, Other Efficiency Improvements, Planning and/or Implementation, or ADA Improvements. The grant program was expanded this year to include ADA improvement as a focus area and category as part of the County’s commitment to ThinkDIFFERENTLY about those with special needs, while minimizing the financial burden on local municipalities.
Through this program, the County has funded 60 shared service and consolidation projects – a broad array of projects ranging from a Shared Municipal Solar Farm in Red Hook; a study of regional emergency medical services in northeastern Dutchess; land use streamlining in City of Poughkeepsie, Hyde Park and the Town of Rhinebeck; and an engineering report for a shared commercial sewer district in Hyde Park, among others.
County Executive Molinaro said, “It is important we all work collaboratively and continue to identify ways to share services, increase revenues and expand economic growth. It is efforts like those funded through the Municipal Innovation Grant program save taxpayers money, produce revenues and proliferate economic growth, so we no longer experience a mass exodus of residents from our state.”
Dutchess County Legislator James Miccio, who also serves as the Mayor of the Village of Fishkill, said, “Communities throughout Dutchess County have benefited from the Municipal Innovation Grant Program. I applaud County Executive Molinaro and my legislative colleagues for their support of the program, and I encourage local leaders to collaborate on proposals to share services.”
The deadline for applications is noon on Friday, June 1, 2018. The application questions and instructions can be found on the Department of Planning and Development website, where a portal to submit applications will open on May 4, 2018. More information is available by calling (845) 486-2549.