Date ArticleType
7/2/2017 Chamber News
Municipal Grant Funding is a Tremendous Opportunity

Chautauqua County has cleared one hurdle to gain a $50,000 grant in Phase 1 of Governor Cuomo’s Municipal Consolidation and Efficiency Competition.  Now it’s on to Phase 2, where our County is one of six finalists vying for a $20-million grant.  This past week, Chautauqua County submitted an application for the funding, which carries with it a variety of consolidation projects.

County Executive Vince Horrigan entered office three and a half years ago with a vision to help streamline government in ways that would make a difference for property taxpayers.  In 2016 he empaneled the county’s Regional Solutions Commission with an eye towards finding ways to improve services while also reducing costs.  Comprised of county and local elected officials, and business, citizen, and labor representatives, this advisory group has helped track regional initiatives and served as a liaison between local officials and New York Department of State, particularly with three recent village dissolution petitions.  We are proud to be part of this Commission, which has helped bring our communities together toward the common goal of providing governmental services more efficiently and effectively.  The County Legislature also recently approved a Government Reduction Initiative, which authorizes one-time local financial assistance following a successful dissolution or consolidation of a municipality within the county.

Chautauqua County’s application for the Phase 2 grant that includes twelve projects is a testament to these ongoing efforts to improve services and reduce costs. We appreciate the political will that the County Executive has demonstrated by encouraging and facilitating these important conversations and providing his support to the effort. In addition, we commend the efforts of various governmental units and leaders who have stepped to the table.  The process in developing these projects was inclusive of municipal officials, staff, and public input.  The application is also wide reaching, ensuring these grant funds would have a substantial impact on communities countywide. 

Chautauqua County municipalities have had shared services agreements for many years which have been particularly successful with highway and emergency services. The potential of additional grant funding can put our county and municipalities in a unique position to continue finding ways to reduce layers of government oversight that increase tax burdens for our businesses and homeowners and to build a strong future for Chautauqua County.

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