Members of an official panel in Tompkins County yesterday (December 12) approved the 2020 Shared Services Plan, which County Administrator Jason Molino will now submit to the New York Department of State in the coming weeks.
Leaders of the nine municipalities present each voted in favor of the plan and the seven remaining municipalities will now be contacted and asked to submit their votes, as well.
No changes were made to the original draft, which was prepared by the Panel and County Administration and reviewed by the County Legislature prior to the approval vote.
Included in that plan is the creation of a new position of Flood Resiliency and Climate Conservation Engineer with the Tompkins County Soil and Water Conservation District, funded by the legislature’s 2020 County Budget.
That position is estimated to produce $130,000 in first-year savings, since municipalities would not have to individually contract for required engineering services for local soil and water conservation projects.
The plan also calls for the study of a back-up Dispatch Center with Cortland County (estimated $75,000 in savings), as well as the potential for shared recreation services between the Town of Ulysses and Village of Trumansburg (around $23,720 in savings).
It also details expansion of the Greater Tompkins County Municipal Health Insurance Consortium by at least two municipal members ($50,000 in savings) and a County-funded short-term rental data partnership for the shared benefit of municipalities ($35,200 in estimated first-year savings and $7,000 in estimated savings for bulk purchase of the data).
In its findings, the Shared Services Panel report indicates that the recommended initiatives are valuable and attainable, but that as in the 2018 Plan, the Panel did not find any new initiatives that would produce significant, recurring new property tax savings, beyond Tompkins County’s many large long-standing shared services initiatives.
Administrator Molino said the Plan will be submitted to the State within the next 30 days and implementation of the shared services initiative will begin after the first of the year