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Molinaro Outlines Competitive Grant Funding for Municipalities, Non-Profits

Published: 10/25/2012

For More Information Contact:

Colleen Pillus

Poughkeepsie, NY…  In his final of five informational sessions with county legislators prior to the release of the 2013 Executive Budget, Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro today outlined two new Community Investment Programs.    The Municipal Consolidation and Shared Services Grant Program will incentivize municipalities to reduce the total cost of government in Dutchess County and the Agency Partner Grant Program will support outcome based programming provided by non-profit agencies.

County Executive Molinaro said, “These new competitive grant programs are designed to drive better outcomes and ensure a return on investment for county taxpayers.”

One million dollars will be available to local municipalities as part of the Municipal Consolidation and Shared Service Grant, which is designed to support local efforts to consolidate services and functions, share services with other local government entities and/or cooperate in multi-town service delivery.   The ultimate goal is to reduce the overall cost of government and ease the property tax burden for residents. A draft program description and application will be available in late November, with the program rolling out in early 2013 for an expected July 1st start. The program will be funded with sales tax revenues as part of County Executive Molinaro’s proposal to change the amount of county sales tax shared with local municipalities.

“This program is unique to any county in New York State.  Unless there is both pressure and incentive, we are never going to see government dramatically change how it functions.  This program balances the shared sacrifice of reduced sales tax with the incentive of funding for real initiatives to respond to the public’s call for consolidation and reduction of service redundancy,” said Molinaro.

County Executive Molinaro’s 2013-2014 Sales Tax Distribution proposal caps the amount of county sales tax distributed to local municipalities at $25 million in order for the County  to continue its shared services to municipalities.   Those shared services, such as planning assistance, GIS services, law enforcement, transportation, and much more, are discretionary and would otherwise have to be cut if not for this plan. To offset the impact of the sales tax change, the proposal includes numerous initiatives, in addition to the $1 million  Municipal Consolidation and Shared Service Grant, including:

  • Sales Tax Distribution Study Group: countywide review, including supervisors, mayors and legislators,  to evaluate a schedule for future distribution fairness;
  • Health Insurance Consortium: to consider a countywide program for county/town/city/village public employee health insurance;
  • Worker’s Compensation Analysis: to consider a countywide consortium for municipalities and county government;
  • Public Transportation Strategic Plan & DIAL-A-RIDE rate review: to improve use and deployment;
  • Law Enforcement Summit & Collaboration Study: to analyze current law enforcement coverage, gaps in service delivery and proposals to enhance public protection and maximize cost effectiveness;
  • Dutchess County Municipal FAST Team: to provide external analysis and support to municipalities considering costs saving ideas and improved efficiencies in service deliveries.

The County Executive’s non-profit competitive grant plan, Agency Partner Grant Program, was also outlined.    This program will direct grant funding to non-profit agencies who provide outcome-based programs in specified category areas.  It will replace the ‘routine’ funding that several non-profits have historically received in the county budget through individual line items.  The funding categories will be determined annually by identifying needs and gaps in service and clustering them in categories. Based on input and analysis from the County’s Health and Human Services Cabinet and the Dutchess County Coalition of Non-Profit Agencies, funding categories for 2013 include Economic and Cultural Benefit; Prevention and Intervention; and Environmental Sustainability. Total available funding for 2013 will be just over $700,000.

County Executive Molinaro said, “Our competitive Agency Partner Grant Program is based on community needs, not entitlement.  It provides us the agility to respond to evolving community needs with a competitive process that will produce better outcomes and allows us to allocate scarce resources more effectively.”

The Agency Partner Grant Program will be administered on an April 1st to March 31st program year.   Specific program details and draft application will be available in early November for agencies to review.  Actual program funding applications will be available in mid-December with a February 1st submission deadline.  Award announcements will be made in March with contracts in place for April 1st program starts.

To smooth the transition to the new Agency Partner Program, non-profit agencies who currently receive funding from the County will receive 25% of their 2012 funding support for 2013.  

“I anticipate we will continue to partner with many of the agencies we currently work with, as they provide valuable and needed services.  However, we look forward to hearing from other agencies who may be able to offer alternative options to best meet current community needs in a more cost efficient way,” said Molinaro.

Both the Municipal Consolidation & Shared Services Grant program and the Agency Partner Grant program will be administered by the Department of Planning & Development and will use the existing Community Development Advisory Panel, with the addition of the Health & Human Services Cabinet Chair and the Legislature’s Majority and Minority leaders or their designee.