Learn About Local Government Efficiency Grants with Assemblywoman Galef and the NYS Department of State

Municipalities and School Districts Encouraged to Apply for Grants to Save Tax Dollars
December 28, 2009

On Thursday, January 7th at 7 pm at Cortlandt Town Hall, 1 Heady Street, Cortlandt Manor, Assemblywoman Sandy Galef will host a forum with New York State Department of State’s Municipal Management Consultant Kyle Wilber to highlight ways local governments, school districts and libraries can save money through sharing. The Department of State offers Local Government Efficiency grants to governments and school districts to encourage reducing overhead costs by consolidating functions, departments, levels of government and more. Grants pay for studies as well as implementation of sharing and consolidation.

Wilber will review grants that have been approved by New York State in past rounds as well as comment on feasibility of proposals for new grants in the latest round. This program has been offered by the state since 2005, originally under the Shared Municipal Services Initiative (SMSI) moniker. Within Galef’s Assembly District alone, 12 applications have been submitted for efficiency grants since 2005. Some examples of areas targeted locally include studying police and highway consolidation for neighboring villages and towns, school transportation sharing for out-of-district busing, countywide assessing, pooling alternative energy resources, etc.

“This is another opportunity for the State to facilitate long-term savings by reducing costly duplication of services in government,” said Assemblywoman Galef. “The State is willing to front the costs that often hinder municipalities or school districts or libraries from making changes. Through the LGE grants, we now remove an obstacle and enable consolidations where they make sense. I am grateful that the Department of State is taking the time to visit my assembly district to help Westchester and Putnam navigate the process to savings.”

Secretary of State Cortés-Vázquez said: "Governor Paterson has made lowering the cost of running local government a high priority of his administration. Under his leadership, the Department of State’s Local Government Efficiency grant program is allowing municipalities to be entrepreneurial in their approach to reducing the cost of government while increasing efficiency through the sharing of services. Furthermore, sharing services means helping keep property taxes under control in Westchester County and all around the state. New Yorkers must work together and support one another as we build a better, stronger future for our State, and I look forward to continuing my work with Assemblywoman Galef in helping local governments to bring down costs and improve services.”

For more information, contact office of Assemblywoman Sandy Galef at (914) 941-1111 or e-mail her Chief of Staff Dana Levenberg at levenbergd@assembly.state.ny.us.