Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

Governor Cuomo announces grants to help local governments find ways to reduce costs

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $4 million in grants that will help twenty-one municipalities find new ways to reduce local government costs and save taxpayer dollars through consolidation and reorganization.

The Local Government Efficiency grants are part of the Governor’s agenda to right size government and address the cost-drivers that for years have made New York’s property tax rates among the highest in the nation.

The grants will help cover costs associated with local government efficiency projects, such as planning for and implementation of a consolidation, shared or cooperative services, and regionalized delivery of services.

One of the approved projects include $49,500 to the Towns of Marion and Walworth for a Wastewater Feasibility Study.

According to Marion Town Supervisor Jody Bender, Marion’s wastewater plant is 30+ years old and in desperate need of upgrading. With costs topping $5 million, the small waste district simply could not afford the cost. The Town began looking at other options and the idea was hatched about the possibility of sending Marion’s sewage to Walworth. Walworth has the capacity, allowing for some upgrades and the MRB Group will now begin a feasibility study.

“This is kind of exciting. Its a good thing,” said Bender. Without the Walworth connection, the DEC (Department of Conservation) could issue the Town of Marion a compliance order, forcing them to take some kind of action.

Besides the age of the Marion wastewater facility, the by far largest user, Seneca Foods, shut down operations several years ago, placing the additional burden on the small wastewater district.