Sullivan County, NY – Capping months of collaborative discussions, Sullivan County’s Shared Services Panel on Wednesday unanimously approved a Shared Services Plan that could lead to new efficiencies and cost savings in County, town and village governments.
“I’ve been working closely with various town and village leaders to develop a plan which meets the shared services mandate given by the State, and I’m gratified this Plan has earned their support,” Deputy County Manager John Liddle remarked. “Now it is towns’ opportunity to review and discuss these proposed methods to reduce expenditures in key areas.”
“I appreciate the County Manager’s and Legislature’s dedication to cooperation with the towns and villages, and I’m pleased to have played a role in this plan’s formation,” said Bethel Town Supervisor Daniel Sturm, president of the Sullivan County Association of Supervisors, which constituted the Panel. “Like the County, our municipalities have worked diligently to stay under the State-mandated tax cap without negatively impacting the services we provide to citizens. While better economic times are afoot, we are not ‘resting on our laurels’ but continuing to seek better ways to handle taxpayers’ dollars.”
Two years ago, Governor Andrew Cuomo began requiring leaders of every county and their component municipalities to create a “Countywide Shared Services Property Tax Savings Plan” to identify additional efficiencies beyond that which Sullivan County and many of its colleagues have already implemented. The State has promised to match realized savings dollar for dollar.
The Sullivan County Shared Services Plan proposes the following:
- Shared purchasing – first, training local officials responsible for purchasing in their respective municipalities, then working with them to purchase items and services at the lower rates often enjoyed by the County and State, with savings redistributed back to the municipalities
- Shared training – the County would provide State-mandated training for local officials via an online platform, with an expected savings of up to $5,000 per municipality
- Shared storage – the County is prepared to offer space- and cost-saving electronic file storage to local municipalities and is now piloting that initiative through the Town of Thompson
- Shared tax collection – the County would provide tax collection services for any municipality willing to voluntarily partner accordingly, providing significant cash flow benefits and savings of as much as $20,000 or more per municipality
None of the above are mandatory for towns and villages, but should any of these initiatives be carried out, the Plan will make the County eligible for reimbursement from the State.
The draft (and soon, finalized) version of the Shared Services Plan is available to read at www.sullivanny.us/Departments/Countymanager/Sharedservicespanel.