Erie County And Local Governments Team Up To Save Money

Unveiled plans which will save taxpayers a modest sum

Richard Root
October 10, 2017 - 4:11 am

WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman

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Williamsville, NY (WBEN) - Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz unveiled plans developed by the county and local governments which will cut costs throughout the county.  While the costs savings are modest, they could turn into a small bonus for communities come 2018.

This all started last spring, when Governor Cuomo issued a challenge to New York State counties to find ways to share services within the counties and cut costs. Legislation was passed that allows for the state to match the costs savings developed by eligible counties.

Since then, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz has coordinated with over 40 local leaders to meet the Governor's challenge. The result of that effort was revealed last night at Erie Community College.

The plans involve 22 different initiatives, some involving county/municipality relationships, some municipality/municipality, and some which include all local governments.  

For example, the first initiative involves the Village of Springville taking over maintenance of the Mill Street storm sewers, something Erie County used to do.  The resulting savings amounts to $390.

As mentioned, the savings are modest, with all 22 initiative saving up to $4.5 million annually.  That means about $13 in savings for each taxpayer in the county.

"For the average taxpayer, they're going to have a few dollars in savings. People shouldn't go out there and say "We're going to buy a new car now." That's not going to happen, but for the average taxpayer, they may see a few dollars savings in their annual tax bill," Poloncarz told Spectrum News.

The initiative that will see the most savings thanks to sharing and consolidation would be in implementing a county-wide household hazardous waste collection program.  Making this a county-based program could save $2 million a year.

There are ten additional initiatives on the table that do not have cost-savings estimates computed, yet, and could contribute to increasing the final cost-savings total for taxpayers county-wide.

Poloncarz says he has discussed their numbers with Governor Cuomo and is under the impression the state could issue matching funds back to Erie County by the end of 2018.

You can see all of the initiatives and further details in this PDF HERE.

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