Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that 68 local governments throughout New York State will share $4 million in grant funding to study and implement initiatives to streamline government operations and ultimately save taxpayer money. The Local Government Efficiency (LGE) grants, administered by the New York Department of State, will be distributed across 18 projects through which local governments are collaborating to achieve operating efficiencies and savings goals.
"These grants play a central role in our efforts to empower municipalities to increase efficiency and reduce costs for taxpayers," Governor Cuomo said. "With our support, local governments across the state are pursuing innovative approaches to their core operations. This ultimately enables local officials to more effectively control costs and reduce taxes levied on home and business owners in their communities."
The Governor has supported "bottom-up" opportunities for local government reorganization and consolidation, such as the LGE grants, in order to stimulate a cultural shift in accountability to the taxpayers. This commitment is supported by a trio of competitive incentives that include the LGE grants, the Local Government Performance and Efficiency Program, and the Citizen Reorganization and Empowerment Grants.
New York Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales said, "Whether by helping local governments more efficiently provide potable water, or by funding the consolidation of emergency services, these Local Government Efficiency initiatives advance Governor Cuomo's vision of making government work for taxpayers. The Department of State remains committed to providing guidance and assistance to help local governments make the most of these grants."
This round of grants will fund seven water projects, including the transfer of management services to county systems in Erie, Orange and Columbia counties, as well as the development of the Chadwick Bay Regional Water System in Northern Chautauqua County. In addition, four schools will be assessing reorganization, including the Elmira Heights and Horseheads School Districts and the Seneca Falls and Waterloo Central School Districts.
Further, the City of Peekskill, along with the cities of New Rochelle, Mount Vernon, Beacon, Newburgh, Poughkeepsie, White Plains, and Yonkers and the Village of Port Chester will receive funding for the Shared Redevelopment Services Program of the Mayors Redevelopment Roundtable (MRR), a partnership of nine cities in the Lower Hudson Valley region of New York State working together on strategies for revitalization and sustainable growth. The Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council has lauded the MRR for recognizing that regions cannot prosper without strong urban centers providing educational, housing, transit, cultural, medical, and other essential services.
City of Peekskill Mayor Mary Foster said, "Support for the Mayor's Redevelopment Roundtable is critically important to the economic health of the Hudson Valley region. Through the Roundtable, the mayors, their development staff and the Land Use Law Center work together on strategies that makes cities dynamic engines of regional economic growth."
Hamilton County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Farber said, "Our Fuel Consolidation Project is part of an overall strategy in Hamilton County to move governmental functions to the most appropriate level and scale creating both the right size to government function and the most efficient and effective government possible. The project will benefit Hamilton County, the Towns of Indian Lake and Long Lake, and Indian Lake Central School District, as well as local municipal fire and ambulance services."