The New York Department of State today announced Essex County and its partner municipalities have received a total of $146,693 in state matching funds via the County-Wide Shared Services Initiative (CWSSI). During this fiscal year, the CWSSI is providing a 95 percent state match of taxpayer savings achieved through the implementation of new shared services identified in county-wide plans produced as a result of the Initiative. In 2018, Essex County and its municipal partners identified ways to consolidate services and save taxpayer money through government efficiencies in services and centralized programs.
“Here in New York, we are working hard on making government more efficient to better serve the public and achieve taxpayer savings,” said Acting Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez. “Through the County-Wide Shared Initiatives, Essex County worked with several municipalities to streamline information technology and community planning services that will bring positive results and ongoing savings for its residents for years to come.”
The shared services projects that were implemented are as follows:
Centralized Information Technology (IT) Services - CWSSI award total - $22,135.93
- Essex County extended its existing IT program to its towns and provided the technical staffing support and bulk procurements to help offset IT costs and data loss setbacks. The move also ensured commonality among systems and communication pathways between municipalities and departments.
Collaborative Highway & Public Works Project Planning - CWSSI award total - $6,707.81
- The centralized IT system also provides the County and municipal partners with improved databases and GIS capabilities. This also increases the quality of its mapping for public safety advisories and public works projects.
Formalized Community Planning Services - CWSSI award total - $117,849.63
- Essex County expanded processes, procedures, and tools within the County Planning Department to support its municipalities. This is designed to enhance capital improvement and economic development projects within the County.
Essex County Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Shaun Gillilland said, “Essex County is continuously looking for ways to improve the services we offer our residents, and I commend the communities throughout our county for working with us to make our governments more efficient. Through the County-Wide Shared Services Initiative, we are able to save taxpayer money through recurring savings and the state match. We are grateful for Governor Hochul for her commitment to continue this program and look forward to working with our local leaders to develop future savings plans.”
Senator Dan Stec said, “The state matching funds from the County-Wide Shared Services Initiative is a major win for Essex County taxpayers. These funds will help fund essential technology, infrastructure and planning services while making sure we hold the line on property taxes. Partnerships like this are crucial in protecting taxpayers and ensuring government runs more efficiently.”
Assemblymember Matthew Simpson said, “The efforts of local governmental leadership once again delivers positive results for the tax payers of Essex County. Effective governing requires a continual evaluation of how best to utilize the peoples resources to ensure they are delivered a consistently reliable standard of service. Engaging in municipal shared services signifies not only a mindfulness of stretching the taxpayer’s dollar further but perhaps more importantly, highlights a spirit of willing cooperation and collaboration that puts the People first. Those who made this happen, including both elected officials and municipal employees, deserve tremendous applause for bringing this to fruition.”
The CWSSI generates property tax savings by facilitating collaboration between local governments across the state. Over the last five years, the CWSSI program has awarded more than $34 million in matching funds to 19 counties, supporting 84 shared services projects, and generating approximately $34 million in savings to local governments.
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, please contact [email protected] or call 518 473-3355.