NY Department of State Announces Grant Award to Assist Towns of Clifton and Fine in St. Lawrence County with Consolidation Study
The New York Department of State’s Division of Local Government Services today announced a $25,000 Citizen Re-Organization Empowerment Grant (CREG) award for the Towns of Clifton and Fine in St. Lawrence County to facilitate the study of a consolidation plan to merge both Towns into one municipality. The CREG program, a component of the Local Government Efficiency Program managed by the New York State Department of State, provides local governments with funding and technical support to plan for and implement municipal reorganizations.
“These town leaders have jointly agreed to take a critical next step in determining their long-term vision for structure of local government in their region,” stated Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales. “While these discussions are not easy, they are necessary as we move towards new and modernized government structures that will efficiently meet the needs of a 21st Century economy.”
This study will map a plan for consolidation of both Towns, assess the impact of consolidation on the delivery and cost of services, and inform residents about the process. The plan will also develop other cost-saving alternatives, in the event that a majority of voting residents chooses, by way of referendum, not to move forward with full reorganization of the Towns.
The CREG program is designed to empower and support local initiatives to streamline services and reduce property taxes. The program is part of Governor Cuomo's continuing efforts to provide taxpayer relief through innovative analysis of governmental functions and services.
“I am very much in favor of this project and am pleased that we are receiving an award,” stated Town of Clifton Supervisor Charles Hooven. “For years there have been discussions about consolidation and now we will be able to study the benefits and issues to help make an informed decision rather than relying on hearsay facts.”
“I’m pleased that the Towns of Clifton and Fine are taking a proactive and innovative approach in an attempt to enhance local government efficiencies for our constituents,” said Mark Hall, Supervisor for the Town of Fine. “This study will quantify data to identify shared service opportunities and economy of scale actions. We will then be able to make fact based decisions to reduce taxpayer burdens and determine if consolidation makes sense.”
Communities considering consolidation should contact the New York State Department of State, Division of Local Government Services at 518-473-3355 or visit the website at http://www.dos.ny.gov/lg/ to determine eligibility for CREG funding. Deadlines for applications are 4:00PM on the first Wednesday of each month. Local governments can now submit CREG applications and receive award notification online via the new Gateway Grant Opportunity Portal at www.grantsgateway.ny.gov.