Modified: September 11, 2017 3:23pm
The Erie County Shared Services Panel, created earlier this year as part of a new initiative in the 2018 NYS Budget designed to generate property tax savings by facilitating collaboration between local governments, has approved a Final Plan that identifies 22 specific initiatives that would save county taxpayers up to $4.5 million if all are implemented. The Plan’s potential property tax savings, which will affect 2018 tax bills, were certified by Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz following the Panel’s 31-1-13 approval vote on September 5 and the Plan was submitted to the NYS Division of Budget this morning.
“The Plan submitted today represents a good faith effort on the part of many local elected officials from both sides of the aisle and at several levels of government, working under a very tight deadline to develop real cost-saving ideas that can be implemented right away,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “Our discussions were constructive, creative, and also conscious of past efforts we’ve taken at all levels to collaborate and increase efficiency wherever possible, so we had a strong dialogue from the beginning. That dialogue ultimately resulted in a Plan that not only identifies as much as $4.5 million in potential recurring annual savings from 22 initiatives, it also identified another 10 possible initiatives that could save millions more. I would like to thank all who took part in the process for working together to improve the lives of county residents, wherever they may live.”
Among the Plan’s Shared Services Projects are agreements to share storm sewer maintenance, animal control services, composting, building inspection services, recreational facilities, electronic waste disposal, cooperative highway equipment purchasing, and coordinated municipal purchasing, among others. While the Plan’s anticipated savings are not of the magnitude of the many consolidations and cooperative efforts undertaken or already identified among Erie County’s governments, savings from the Plan’s entirely new initiatives may be more than those already achieved through prior efforts. Additional uncertified Plan Projects that could be implemented in the future address further sharing of water and sewer services, takeover of county roads by municipalities, and shared commercial sign making among other potential Projects.
Poloncarz added, “Erie County has always taken a leadership role in developing new collaborations with our local municipalities in an effort to provide services as effectively and efficiently as possible - without any incentives or requirements from the state to do so. I will be presenting the approved Plan to the public before October 15 and continuing to explore ways to provide better services at lower cost.”
The Plan can be viewed here .