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Poughkeepsie…Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro will host the first Dutchess County Shared Services Summit on Wednesday, October 15th from 4:30-8:30 p.m. at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel. Over 100 local, county and state officials are registered to participate in workshops and panel discussions about potential shared services or consolidation opportunities in areas such as: highway, community planning and infrastructure; public safety and emergency services; and municipal operating services such as IT, planning and purchasing. Shared service opportunities currently offered by Dutchess County Government will also be highlighted. This summit is an important opportunity for local leaders to develop the necessary shared services and consolidations to qualify for the New York State Property Tax Freeze credit. The latest awards from Dutchess County’s Municipal Consolidation & Shared Services Grant Program will also be announced as part of the event.
“In Dutchess County alone, there are over 300 layers of government - clearly there are opportunities for shared resources or consolidation. This is an important priority to our citizens and Dutchess County has been leading the charge to maximize efficiency and reduce the overall cost of government. This summit continues that dialogue with local leaders as well as state, regional and county representatives so we can ensure residents get the Property Tax Credit check they deserve,” said County Executive Molinaro.
Shared services and consolidation savings are a key component to the Property Tax Freeze Credit that was enacted as part of the 2014-15 New York State Budget. In order for homeowners to receive Property Tax Freeze Credit, local municipalities, school districts and other districts must stay within the property tax cap and put forward compliant Government Efficiency Plans that save one percent of their tax levies through cooperation agreements, shared services, mergers, and efficiencies. Government efficiency plans are due in June 2015 in order for homeowners to be eligible for the credit.
Dutchess County Government is already a statewide leader in shared services and consolidations. In 2013, County Executive Molinaro launched the Municipal Consolidation & Shared Services Grant Program, the first of its kinds in New York State, to incentivize local municipal projects that consolidate services, produce shared services, evaluate municipal consolidation opportunities and implementation possibilities, eliminate an entire government entity, establish the regional delivery of services, and/or offer other efficiency improvements. The inaugural year of the program produced projects ranging from the creation of a web-based (cloud) permitting and enforcement system shared among 12 municipalities to a shared highway services program, and the consolidation of an assessor’s office between two towns.
The County also offers a wide variety of shared services opportunities to local municipalities, districts and non-profit organizations to maximize fiscal and operational efficiencies, improve agency resources and increase accountability. Services include website development, purchasing and contract administration, printing and copying, workers’ compensation and emergency management. A recent example is the County’s partnership with the City of Beacon to develop a new website for the City. The collaboration enabled the City of Beacon to provide its residents and visitors greater access to information by taking advantage of the County’s information technology expertise. More information about Dutchess County’s shared services opportunities can be found here
The Shared Services Summit will include representatives from various government and nonprofit agencies that specialize in government consolidations and shared service opportunities who will take part in and moderate panel and workshop discussions. Agencies include: New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC), Pattern for Progress, NYS Department of State Division of Local Government Services, and the Center for Research, Regional Education & Outreach (CRREO).
For more information about the Shared Service Summit, call 486-3670.