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Poughkeepsie, NY…This morning at Beacon City Hall, Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro joined with local municipal officials to announce the second round of funding awards from the Dutchess County Municipal Consolidation and Shared Service Grant Program during a special roundtable discussion event. Six projects, representing collaborations among ten municipalities, were awarded for a total of more than $530,000 for shared service and new efficiency initiatives in the second round of grant funding.
The Municipal Consolidation and Shared Services Grant program was launched as part of the 2013 county budget with the primary goal of reducing the total cost of local government through increased efficiencies and the elimination of unnecessary or redundant services, resulting in smaller, smarter government. A total of $2 million in grant funding was approved by the Dutchess County Legislature and was made available for projects designed to consolidate services and functions, share services with other local government entities, and/or cooperate in multi-town service delivery. Five projects, representing collaborations among seventeen municipalities, were previously awarded nearly $900,000 in the first round of funding announced last week.
County Executive Molinaro said, “This latest round of grant awards represent important collaborative projects that provide savings and/or create efficiencies to better residents. Congratulations to all the municipalities who have taken advantage of this unique grant program to figure out what we can do better when we work in partnership and focus on efforts to reduce the total cost of government for our taxpayers.”
Collaborative projects awarded funding in the second round include:
Tri-Municipal Sewer Services Evaluation
Project Award: $200,000
Collaborating municipalities: City of Beacon, Town and Village of Fishkill
Project Description: This project will evaluate consolidation of three existing sewer service systems into a single tri-municipal sewer service which would allow for a more cost-effective and efficient delivery system.
City of Beacon Mayor Randy Casale said, “The City of Beacon is grateful for the support from County Executive Molinaro for its three projects. Each of the projects addresses the goals of the grant program whether it is through cost saving measures delivered through the ECM system, the consolidation of our firehouses, or the possible implementation of a tri-municipal sewer service with the Town and Village of Fishkill. This funding will allow the City of Beacon to move forward with projects that will better serve the residents and its employees.
Electronic Document and Meeting Management
Project Award: $86,734
Awarded municipality: City of Beacon
Project Description: an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system for the electronic management and preservation of records. The ECM system will allow for better meeting management, paper reduction, and increased community access to information.
Implementation Plan to Consolidate Firehouses
Project Award: $30,000
Awarded municipality: City of Beacon
Project Description: development of a plan to consolidate three firehouses into a single facility. The evaluation builds on prior studies which revealed the numerous operational efficiencies and cost savings to be achieved through the consolidation.
Dutchess County Legislator John Forman, who represents the City of Beacon, said, “Without the County’s Municipal Consolidation and Shared Services Grant program, these important projects may have had to sit on a shelf for far too long. I am thrilled the City of Beacon will be able to advance these important initiatives designed to save money and serve our residents better.”
Visual Inspection of Sewer and Storm Water Infrastructure
Project Award: $66,000
Collaborating municipalities: Village of Millbrook and Town of Washington
Project Description: purchase of a camera for the assessment of pipe conditions and to respond to and prevent potential emergency flooding in a timely manner. The assessment will allow for efficient maintenance scheduling and capital expenditures planning.
Village of Millbrook Mayor Laura M. Hurley said, “The Village has been diligent in assessing its infrastructure to control funds expended on capital improvement projects. The support from the County will allow us to further this practice, while also providing a cost savings collaboration with the Town of Washington.”
Inter-Municipal Shared Technology Services
Project Award: $71,756
Collaborating municipalities: Town and Village of Rhinebeck
Project Description: This project will implement a shared computer network. The shared network will foster data sharing and entry, reduce duplicative tasks, and create public internet access. The shared technology service will allow for increased operational efficiencies and greater collaborative shared services between departments and the Town and Village.
Highway Shared Services Program
Project Award: $79,000
Collaborating municipalities: Town of Red Hook, Villages of Red Hook and Tivoli
Project Description: This project will seek to develop a program of highway shared services. The program will reduce purchases of redundant equipment, maintenance and storage, administrative costs, personnel training, and material and fuel purchases.
Dutchess County Legislator Ben Traudt, who represents Red Hook, said, “The concept of the Municipal Consolidation & Shared Services Grant program is more important than ever as every level of government seeks to increase efficiencies and deal with fiscal challenges. I am thrilled the Highway Shared Services program for the Town of Red Hook and Villages of Red Hook and Tivoli received funding. This important project will benefit residents for years to come.”
Remaining funding awards are expected to be announced in the coming months. The Municipal Consolidation & Shared Services Grant program is administered by the Department of Planning & Development through the guidance of the Community Development Advisory Committee.