Wednesday, September 6, 2017

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Dutchess Municipal Innovation grants announced

HYDE PARK – Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro joined with several county and municipal leaders to announce nearly $1.75 million to local governments through the county's Municipal Innovation Grant program.


Well-atended announcement in Hyde Park

The program, started by Molinaro five years ago, seeks to award funding to municipalities and government agencies that are attempting to eliminate duplicative services, share services between municipalities and/or agencies, or otherwise streamlining government processes resulting in a savings to taxpayers.

“We are funding the ideas that came from towns, cities and villages across Dutchess County,” Molinaro said.  “This isn’t a Dutchess County success. This is merely us, our county, committing to a partnership to accomplish the goals that municipalities have put before them to create a more efficient and less costly government,”

At Hyde Park Town Hall on Tuesday, Molinaro announced funding, provided by the county, that benefits several joint efforts by municipalities to save taxpayer dollars including a $75,000 award for a Shared Commercial Sewer District Expansion Study to hire a consultant to provide a detailed engineering report, including a map plan for a sewer district to be shared by the Town of Hyde Park and the Dutchess County Water &Wastewater Authority. 

The lack of available sewer lines along the Route 9 business corridor in Hyde Park has long been blamed for lack of economic growth in the northern Dutchess municipality. 

The grant application estimated that an estimated annual savings of $5,000 in addition to increased revenues obtained from increased property values and the attraction of new businesses.

Further north, the Town and Village of Rhinebeck each have their own justice court facility.  The courts are located less than 500 hundred yards apart from each other. The two governments applied for monies to study the feasibility of sharing court operations and locations with, according to Rhinebeck Town Supervisor Elizabeth Spinzia, an estimated savings of $40,000 annually.  The grant award totals $30,000.

The Town of Poughkeepsie and the Arlington Fire District received $120,000 to hire a consultant to evaluate and develop options for the consolidation of municipal and fire district facilities into one centrally located facility, eliminating the need to invest $1.2 million in facility improvements.  The application states that a centralized facility is expected to result in efficiencies along with more than $260,000 in annual savings. 

The Arlington Fire District currently answers emergency calls out of fire houses spread throughout the town while the municipality has a building that houses their police department, a second building with town offices, and a third facility that houses their highway department.  No additional information was available regarding what consolidation plans had been considered.

 


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