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Poughkeepsie... Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro has submitted the Dutchess County Countywide Shared Services Tax Savings Plan to the New York State Division of Budget, adopted and approved by all 30 local municipalities. The plan features 37 projects that collectively can provide over $27 million in taxpayer savings in 2018 and 2019, if all projects are successfully implemented. On Monday, September 11th, the Dutchess County Legislature adopted a resolution by a 22-1 vote affirming there were no additional project recommendations to the plan, with Legislator Joel Tyner casting the only dissenting vote. County Executive Molinaro will give a public presentation on the plan on Wednesday, October 11th at 7:00 p.m. at The Henry A. Wallace Center at the FDR Presidential Library and Home, located at 4079 Albany Post Road in Hyde Park. The approved plan is available on the County’s Countywide Shared Service Initiative webpage.
County Executive Molinaro said, “We appreciate the feedback we received from residents at our three public hearings, as well as the input provided by the Dutchess County Legislature and our local municipal officials to help us finalize the plan. The plan represents several months of work by our Shared Services Panel and staff from our Budget Office and Department of Planning & Development. We are proud of the final product as it further demonstrates Dutchess County’s efforts to work collaboratively and creatively to develop shared services and create cost savings for our taxpayers, serving as a model for communities across New York State.”
County Executive Molinaro convened several meetings of the Shared Service Panel, comprised of local city, town and village executives, as well as representatives from several school districts and BOCES, to develop a plan as mandated by a provision of the 2017-18 New York State Budget. The plan features a broad spectrum of projects including shared salt and paving material purchasing, motor vehicle repair, website development and maintenance, shared court facilities and salt sheds, Drug Task Force efforts, municipal solar farms, consolidation of law enforcement, and much more. The projects range from two municipalities partnering together to county government-led projects with multiple local municipalities and school districts partnering in shared services efforts. The plan even includes a regional project with Dutchess and Ulster counties partnering to expand their Conflict Defender Swap program into Family Court, projected to save nearly $70,000 over the two-year period.
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has promised matching funds for shared service projects where eligible. Dutchess County will seek to draw down these promised funds to provide greater taxpayer relief as soon as New York State provides eligibility guidelines.
Dutchess County Government has long been a leader in shared service and consolidation efforts, having reduced the size of county government over several years and cutting the county property tax levy each year for the last three years. Key in those efforts has been the Municipal Innovation Grant Program - specifically designed to incentivize municipalities to share service, evaluate consolidation opportunities, establish a regional delivery of services, and implement other efficiencies. Since 2013, County Executive Molinaro and the Dutchess County Legislature have allocated nearly $7 million through the Municipal Innovation Grant Program, funding more than 50 projects.