Rockland County Executive Ed Day has delivered a Shared Services Initiative report to the Rockland County Legislature as required by state law.
The report identifies possible areas to explore to achieve savings through sharing services and was developed in cooperation with towns, villages and other taxing entities.
Rockland County was among the first in the state to convene a panel to comply with the Shared Services Initiative requirements.
"This process is an ongoing effort to work together to find efficiencies," Day said. "It's an evolution that will continue over the next year."
Like every other county in New York, Rockland was obligated by the passage of the state budget in April to begin working on a Shared Services Initiative.
Under state law, the report had to be submitted to the Rockland County Legislature on August 1.
This report provides an outline of areas that municipalities and other entities have expressed interest in exploring further in order to achieve savings without compromising service.
The County will work with the towns, villages, and school districts of Rockland to develop detailed proposals for implementing these ideas and identifying significant savings from shared services which can be eligible for funding from New York State.
"We thank our partners in this process for their efforts and we look forward to continuing to work on this plan," Day said.
The collaborative process included input from the public as well as towns, villages, BOCES and some school districts which chose to participate even though schools were not required to do so under the law.
Here are some ideas that came out of meetings and surveys with town and village officials.
- Countywide Animal Control program
- Cooperative purchasing of paper and other items through the Empire State Purchasing Group
- Bulk purchase of LED Lighting
- Shared printing through BOCES
- Shared police dispatching
- Formalizing agreements among Highway Departments
- Joint bids for landscaping and custodial services
- •Dissolution of small village courts
Additional study and discussion is necessary before moving ahead with any of these ideas.
Rockland County has already achieved success in sharing services and saving money. Examples include the Hudson Valley Municipal Purchasing Group, which was started by Rockland.
The Rockland County Highway Department has long shared services and equipment with the towns.
In addition, numerous law enforcement services – the bomb squad, intelligence units, etc. – share services and information.
Rockland BOCES was formed with the idea of sharing educational services among our school districts.
"Sharing services is nothing new for Rockland County," Day said. "Any idea that can save a nickel for taxpayers is worth investigating."
The county is in the process of putting the report on the county website, which can be viewed here.
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