Since January, Montgomery County officials have met with local municipal leaders to hammer out shared services proposals in a bid to attract state consolidation dollars and lower property taxes throughout the county.
County Executive Matthew Ossenfort’s office pulled the roughly dozen proposals together for a presentation this week at Fulton County Community College. Ossenfort spoke to a gathering of town and village officials, some of whom were involved in crafting the proposals, in preparation for a more formal presentation to state officials later this year.
The proposals range from the ambitious — consolidating the town and village of Canajoharie — to the mundane — a countywide tax assessment and the creation of a single equalization rate. Other proposals include building a shared municipal facility at the Beech-Nut site in Canajoharie, and consolidating law enforcement agencies as well as three county departments.
An analysis conducted by the county’s Department of Economic Development and Planning, with assistance from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, found that consolidating the office of mental health and public health would save the county $85,000 annually.
The analysis also found that consolidating the town and village of Canajoharie, which would have to be approved in a referendum, would save up to $330,000 in the first year, substantially due to transferring police functions to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department.
Asked what shared services and consolidation means for potential job loss and attrition, Ossenfort said the impact…
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