June 21, 2016

New York Department of State Announces $109,000 in Grant Awards to Assist with Government Reorganizations in Upstate New York

New York Department of State Announces $109,000 in Grant Awards to Assist with Government Reorganizations in Upstate New York

The New York Department of State today announced Local Government Citizens Reorganization Empowerment Grants (CREG) to the Villages of Richville and Forestville to assist with the planning process for village dissolution, and to the Town of Corning to consolidate four water districts.

CREG is a component of the Local Government Efficiency Program managed by the New York Department of State’s Division of Local Government Services.  The program provides local governments with funding and technical support for the study, planning and implementation of municipal reorganizations.

“The Department of State congratulates these municipalities for taking these very important steps to create a more efficient local government,” said New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado. “We will continue building such partnerships to help reduce costs for the benefit of all taxpayers throughout the State.”

In St. Lawrence County, the Village of Richville, will receive $9,000 to help pay for a study allowing the Village to explore dissolution and consolidation with the Town of DeKalb.  The study will evaluate existing conditions and identify potential financial savings, management improvements, and service delivery changes resulting from reorganization, as well as other alternatives to dissolution that could result in improved efficiencies.

The Village of Forestville, in Chautauqua County, will receive $50,000 to assist in the creation of a dissolution plan as required by New York State General Municipal Law, Article 17-A. A petition for village dissolution was received by the Village on August 7, 2015, resulting in a referendum on November 3, 2015, when the village electorate voted to dissolve. The Village Board must prepare a dissolution plan within 180 days in order to satisfy the requirements of General Municipal Law, Article 17-A.

In Steuben County, the Town of Corning will receive $50,000 for the consolidation of four existing water districts.  The award will fund a planning report containing a framework and understanding of how consolidation of the water districts will impact operations and maintenance and the ability to reduce related expenses.

Upon hearing of the award, Ella Mae (Blue Jay) Fenlong, Mayor, Village of Richville, said, “I would like to thank the Department of State and staff for the grant and assistance in implementing the dissolution project.  The village board is behind this 100% in hopes of finding new and better ways to make things more cost-effective for our taxpayers. We are in the early stages of this project and look forward to all the available data in helping to make the right decisions.  We would also like to thank the Development Authority of the North Country for all the hard work they assist us with and resources we otherwise would not have available to us.”

"I would like to extend my thanks to The Department of State for assisting me through the grant process,” said Kevin Johnson, Mayor, Village of Forestville. “It was no simple task.  The Dissolution Committee has been working diligently and we have a plan that was accepted by the Village Board of Trustees on May 10th.  We are moving forward with a public hearing on June 14th at 7:30 pm at the J. Carter Knapp Legion Post 953, 6 Cedar St, Forestville, NY 14062.  The Village Board of Trustees is cooperating fully with the process that has been put in place."

“I am so grateful for all of the help and assistance from the Department of State and staff,” said Kimberly Feehan, Supervisor, Town of Corning. “This project will benefit the community and the users by making a planning report, with data, available to allow moving to implementation.”

Communities considering reorganization should contact the New York Department of State, Division of Local Government Services, at 518-473-3355 or visit the website at http://www.dos.ny.gov/local-government-efficiency to determine eligibility for CREG funding. Deadlines for applications are 4:00PM on the first Wednesday of each month. Local governments can now submit CREG applications and receive award notification online via the new Gateway Grant Opportunity Portal at www.grantsgateway.ny.gov.