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Erie, Niagara counties receive state matching funds through shared services initiative


Tue, Jan 4th 2022 04:15 pm

Counties implemented a series of shared services projects to help save taxpayers money

√ State approves 95% match of taxpayer savings generated through implementation of new, locally identified shared services projects

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday announced Cayuga, Chemung, Clinton, Columbia, Dutchess, Erie, Madison and Niagara counties together received a total of more than $2.7 million in state matching funds via the County-Wide Shared Services Initiative. During this fiscal year, the CWSSI provides a 95% state match of taxpayer savings achieved through the implementation of new shared services identified in countywide plans produced as a result of the initiative. The counties' plans identified ways to consolidate services and save taxpayer money through government efficiencies in services and community programs.

"As government officials, it's not only our responsibility to ensure taxpayer dollars are used wisely and efficiently, but it's also critical that we work consistently to identify savings for hard-working New Yorkers," Hochul said. "I applaud the leadership and creativity of these eight counties and thank all of those who worked on these plans for finding innovative ways to cut costs and put money back into the pockets of New York taxpayers."

In Western New York:

•Erie County – Received $148,957 in State Matching Funds: Erie County expanded its utilities aggregation program to the Town of Cheektowaga and the towns of Collins and North Collins shared an assessor to achieve taxpayer savings.

•Niagara County – Received $392,027 in State Matching Funds: Niagara County implemented a countywide digital pictometry project that allows local governments to view aerial photographs to help with code enforcement and assessment of tax parcels. Niagara County also engaged in solid waste management consulting with the cities of Niagara Falls and North Tonawanda to review and implement changes related to their sanitation and recycling collection programs. Finally, Niagara County shared IT services with the Town of Pendleton and shared a road milling machine with the Town of Newfane.

Acting Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez said, "Cayuga, Chemung, Clinton, Columbia, Dutchess, Erie, Madison and Niagara counties all understand the critical importance of working together to offer tax savings to the residents of their communities. The County-Wide Shared Services Initiative inspired them to work with municipalities to find creative ways to deliver taxpayer savings and government efficiency through shared services that will bring positive results and recurring savings for years to come."

Niagara County Chairwoman Becky Wydysh said, "Niagara County put a tremendous amount of effort into our shared services plan, and I thank our county manager and local government partners for their good work. We must continue to look for ways to collaborate and cooperate in ways that produce results for taxpayers at lower costs." 

The CWSSI generates property tax savings by facilitating collaboration between local governments across the state. Guidance documents regarding the CWSSI and state match application process, as well as past CWSSI plans, are available here.

The County-Wide Services Initiative is administered by the Division of Local Government Services at the Department of State. The division provides technical assistance and competitive grants to local governments. For more information on CWSSI or any programs administered by the division, email [email protected] or call 518-473-3355.

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