HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. Consolidation among local villages has been discussed with various departments, but Hastings and Dobbs Ferry will begin looking into possibly sharing services of the Department of Public Works. The two villages will apply for a Local Government Efficiency Grant together to study the possible advantages of shared services according to Hastings village manager Fran Frobel.
It would study the feasibility and the practicality of merging the two departments either in their entirety or in phases or sections of the operation, Frobel said. For example, the consultants may think its best to combine vehicular maintenance or maybe trash pickup or street sweeping. There are a whole host of opportunities that consultants would look at.
These grants are a way of helping local municipalities cut down on municipal expenses and property taxes by sharing services.
Frobel said the two sides will submit a joint application and if awarded the grant, the study length could vary.
It really depends on us, Frobel said. It depends on how deeply we want to get involved it could take anywhere from six to 12 months.
This is something the villages have been considering for a while, with Dobbs Ferry mayor Hartley Connett mentioning the idea in a message to residents back in 2011.
The village administration has discussed the grant study opportunity with the Head and Senior Supervisors of the DPW and Highway Departments, and staff will be completely involved with the scoping and framing of any study grant which might be pursued, Connett said in the message. This would be part of a prudent long-term view on how opportunities for consolidated facilities and/or services might benefit the Rivertown communities in the long run, and help valued village workers.
Frobel said that it is still unclear as to how much money could be saved through consolidation or shared services.
Thats what the study would point out, Frobel said. Were not going in with any bias thinking theres x amount of dollars that can be saved.