Allegany County has been developing its required response to the legislative initiative enacted in April of 2017 at the urging of Governor Cuomo and approved by the New York State Legislature, since June of that same year. The focus of the initiative was to have the various levels of local government (County, Town, and Village) meet to discuss opportunities for shared services that would result in tax reductions. In return, the State would match any realized savings at a 50% rate. Those savings would be returned to the local communities and be distributed accordingly.
There has been a great deal of discussion lately about the County being the driving force behind town consolidation, merging highway superintendents, and tax clerks, etc. in favor of creating positions on the County level to oversee districts.
I would urge all interested parties to carefully examine the Allegany County Shared Services Plan posted on our Website to see what is and, more importantly, is not included in this document outlining potential savings within the borders of Allegany County. The proposed shared services contained within this document are the result of surveys and interviews of almost all municipal leaders of the 29 Towns, 10 Villages and the county. This is a process driven at the local level by and for municipalities.
The items creating the greatest angst: Municipal Reorganization, consolidation of Highway Superintendents, Offices, Staff and Contracts, are not identified as cost saving opportunities. They are referenced in the plan because they were discussed in the planning process. They are not included in the proposed County Wide Shared Services Plan for consideration. It is important to note, these are municipality to municipality driven issues. Meaning, the County does not direct, initiate, or influence this process. It occurs in one of two ways; the affected citizens vote on consolidation of their municipalities or the Board of particular Towns and/or Villages drives the process. The County derives NO BENEFIT and has NO CONTROL over the process and has only offered to assist these municipalities in their efforts as requested.