LIVINGSTON COUNTY – Public hearings for the Shared Services Panel to hear public comment on Livingston County’s proposed consolidation of several public services will be held Monday.
As part of its budget, the State is offering to financial incentives to municipalities for consolidating many, many public services like town and village courts, animal control, or snow and ice removal. The Panel, headed by County Administrator Ian Coyle, has held three public meetings since May and submitted their formal plan to combine four specific public services for a net savings/cost avoidance of $175,100.
The meetings are: 10 a.m. at the Dansville Town Hall, 14 Clara Barton Street, Dansville; 11:30 a.m. at the Livingston County Department of Health, 2 Murray Hill Drive, Conference Room, Mount Morris; and 2:30 p.m. Livingston County Government Center, 6 Court Street, Board Assembly Room, Geneseo.
The first proposed shared service is grant writing. The County says that presently, under informal arrangements, the County writes grants for a number of Towns and Villages at no cost to the applicable municipality. However, some municipalities still choose to contract out for grant-writing services, leading to redundant expenses at the local property tax level. Additionally, those municipalities that do receive services from the County at present, due so absent a formal, codified intermunicipal agreement. It is estimated that participating entities will experience cost-avoidance savings of $2,500 to $5,000 per participant should they consolidate grant-writing services through Livingston County via intermunicipal agreement.
“We believe this arrangement, if formalized, would be the only such program in New York State,” said Coyle.
The second is shared highway equipment. The County says that the Towns of Caledonia, Geneseo and York are interested in procuring multiple pieces of highway equipment under a proposed joint purchasing construct. The three towns will share in the equipment expense and maintenance and expect to save, at a minimum, $15,000 per year per plan participant in the process of this shared services arrangement.
The third is shared scanning services. Livingston County maintains two larg scanners in the Planning Department and Records Management Departments, respectively. These devices would be made available to Towns and Villages to use at no charge for scanning and imaging documents.
The fourth is consolidation of ambulance services. Livingston County maintains a Certificate Of Need for the entire County for the provision of emergency medical services (EMS). Over the last few years, the Towns of Groveland, Leicester, Springwater and York have each had different volunteer and/or contracted (payments remitted) services in their respective jurisdictions for the provision of EMS. These town arrangements are now either waning or outright expired and the towns are desirous of maintaining the County, either part or full time, as lead responding agency. It is estimated these four participating entities will experience cost-avoidance savings of $10,000 per participant should they consolidate ambulance services through Livingston County via intermunicipal agreement.
As part of the proposal, the Panel also listed existing service consolidation agreements, adding that ‘It should be noted that Livingston County is already a leader in government efficiency and shared services.’ Their examples were:
• Countywide workers compensation program
• Town/County agreements on equipment utilization
• Town/County agreements on snow and ice control
• Village, Town & County partnerships on the Downtown Partnership program
• School Resource Officers
• School-based DSS Casework staff
• Weights and Measures consolidation with Steuben County
• Interoperable Agreements with all contiguous counties
• Genesee, Livingston, Wyoming & Orleans Workforce Investment Board
• Genesee, Livingston and Wyoming Regional Solid Waste Partnership
• Training, Drug Recognition, DWI services from Sheriff to Towns/Villages
• Housing of other county inmates at the jail
• Wyoming- Livingston WIC program
• Consolidation of inspectors at Board of Elections
• Bidding and piggybacking under various County contracts
• HazMat program through County Emergency Management
• Emergency Medical Services (County ambulance)
• Livingston County Water/Sewer Authority
• Planning and Zoning Training from County to Towns/Villages
• ITS Tax Bill production for Towns, Villages & Schools
• Consolidation of Assessment function at the Town level
• Consolidated Dispatch / Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs)