Looking into Schenectady County's draft shared-services plan – New York News

SCHENECTADY COUNTY — Construction of an inter-municipal solar energy system, a switch to LED lighting on streets and in buildings, and combined health care coverage plans are among the ideas proposed in Schenectady County’s draft countywide shared-services plan.

Between the various ideas, officials who worked on the plan are estimating the county’s city, towns and villages could save more than $1.5 million annually if they are implemented.

The draft plan is due to be submitted to the county Legislature at a meeting Monday night — just hours ahead of the Aug. 1 deadline by which state legislation says that county-coordinated municipal shared-services plans are due to be submitted to county leaders. The plans must be filed with the state by Sept. 15.

The effort, pushed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, requires local governments across the state to come up with new ways to work together to save money — and thus to reduce property taxes, or at least reduce the size of future tax increases.

The shared-services plan committee was led by county Legislator Rory Fluman, D-Niskayuna, chairman of the county Committee on Intergovernmental Cooperation. By law, it included representatives of every municipality in the county, with a goal of getting all to agree on the plan.

The most ambition goal appears to be development of another 15 megawatts of solar farm arrays, and a switch to more-efficient municipal lighting systems. Together, they are being called an “inter-municipal energy savings initiative.” If implemented, the county and all its government units could get all their electricity from solar power by Dec….

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