The Orange County Shared Services Panel approved the final Shared Services Plan that was submitted by Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus to New York State for review. The Shared Services Plan was developed in collaboration with the County’s Department of Planning and officials from many of the County’s municipalities, who served on the Shared Services Initiative Panel. The proposed Plan will save taxpayers an estimated $8 million in 2019.
“Governor Cuomo has encouraged counties throughout the State to collaborate with our local municipalities and find ways for them to work together with County government to reduce costs and save taxpayer dollars,” Neuhaus said. “Under my administration, Orange County has a track record of making that happen. The initiatives in the Shared Services Plan will help make the County safer and also save our taxpayers money. I appreciate the participation and leadership of many of our local officials, as well as County Planning Commissioner Dave Church, who worked diligently on this effort.”
New York State’s 2018 budget includes a County-wide Shared Services Initiative (CWSSI) designed to generate property tax savings by encouraging collaboration between local governments. Orange County created a Shared Services Panel chaired by Neuhaus that is comprised of representatives from municipalities throughout Orange County.
Proposals in Orange County’s Shared Services Plan include:
- Countywide Public Safety Communications/Radio Project: One-hundred-ten agencies including a variety of County fire departments, police departments and emergency medical service companies are interested in partnering with the County to streamline public safety radio communications.
- Shared Water Efficient Fleet Wash Project: The County will lead a demonstration project for sharing of a fleet/vehicle wash facility in Goshen. It will complement a shared project lead by the Town of Wallkill. Additional shared facilities will be created in the eastern and western parts of the County.
- Dial-A-Bus agreement between the Town of Wallkill and Town of Warwick: The Town of Warwick has agreed to provide administration and dispatching services for the Town of Wallkill Dial-A-Bus program, which will result in better transportation options for Wallkill residents while saving approximately $87,500.
- Geographic Information Systems (GIS): Starting in 2019, the County will offer geographic information services (GIS) to its 43 municipalities. It will include all cartography and geographic data services such as map development, maintenance and printing.
- Zoning maps: The County’s Planning Department will create and maintain zoning maps for municipalities saving each one approximately $1,500 per year.
- Orange Shares: Orange County has proposed to host a shared-equipment program through which all municipalities can borrow and lend their individually owned, unique equipment. The County would host, maintain and manage an online reservation program where municipalities would post equipment and rules, including any pricing for such services.
- Consolidation of Orange County Grant Writing Services: The County would provide grant writing, conducting opportunity strategy meetings, providing advice and guidance on eligibility and competitiveness, program development, reviewing, editing, and tracking progress and internal deadlines, assisting with letters of support, forms and attachments (including MWBE), coordinating necessary legal review, obtaining signatures, entering application and supporting documents into application systems (grants.gov, Grants Gateway or GMS), and reviewing for completion and submitting applications.
- County Firearms Range: The Orange County Sheriff’s Office in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security expects to expand and modernize the County Firearms Range next year. While this range will be for the preferred use of the County’s Sheriff’s Office, County Probation, and Department of Homeland Security personnel, utilization will be offered to municipal departments via a schedule and protocol to be determined in 2019. Shared use will bring accessible access to a range with full services offsetting needs for some departments to either construct or operate their own facility, or to use other private or public facilities. Cost savings will be determined in the near future.
- 911 Dispatching by Warwick Police Department of Greenwood Lake Fire District: Greenwood Lake Fire District has asked Town of Warwick Dispatch to handle their communications and notifications, which would save taxpayers $18,700 per year.