New York Department of State Announces Local Government Citizens Reorganization Empowerment Grants to Villages of Prospect and Highland Falls
The New York Department of State today announced Local Government Citizens Reorganization Empowerment Grants (CREG), totaling $75,000, to the Village of Prospect for the implementation of village dissolution, and the Village of Highland Falls for a re-organization study. The electorate of the Village of Prospect, in Oneida County, approved a referendum on village dissolution on July 21, 2015, and the Village will dissolve on December 31, 2015. The Village of Highland Falls with the Town of Highlands, in Orange County, will complete a study to identify and evaluate options for local government re-organization, including a possible village dissolution.
The CREG program, a component of the Local Government Efficiency Program managed by the New York Department of State’s Division of Local Government Services, provides local governments with technical support and funding related to municipal reorganization analysis, planning and implementation.
“These Villages have already taken important steps to more efficient government by exploring and/or planning for dissolutions,” said New York Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales. “Each re-organization is based on the needs of the local governments and its residents and it is their ability to reach a consensus for the benefit of their communities that makes this process truly exceptional and rewarding.”
The Village of Prospect, in the Mohawk Valley Region, will receive $50,000 to assist with the dissolution of the Village. The grant will provide the Village with resources to help ensure that the dissolution is completed in an organized manner by December 31, 2015. Prior to dissolution, the Village intends to sell some assets to reduce the amount of its debt, and to transfer some assets to the Town of Trenton, which encompasses the Village. The Village will also prepare for the continued provision of municipal services, upon village dissolution, which will require town formation of special districts. Additionally, an audit of Village accounts will be conducted prior to dissolution.
The Village of Highland Falls, in the Mid-Hudson Region, will receive $25,000 to complete a Local Government Re-Organization Study. The Village of Highland Falls and the Town of Highlands have a history of cooperation. In 2010, the Village and Town started discussions about opportunities to realize cost savings through increased efficiency in service-delivery of overlapping services provided to residents, while maintaining or enhancing the quality of such services. With these funds, the Village and Town will evaluate options for local government re-organization, including the possible dissolution of the Village of Highland Falls and any opportunities related to consolidation of police and DPW/Highway services.
“The Board of Trustees and I are happy to hear that the New York Department of State has granted the Village of Prospect the Implementation Grant of $50,000.00 to help us through the complicated dissolution process,” said Frances Righi, Mayor of the Village of Prospect.
Upon hearing the news of the award, Village of Highland Falls Mayor Patrick Flynn stated, “We thank the Department of State for their continuing support to receive the Citizens Reorganization Empowerment Grant and educate our Boards on the benefits of consolidation. We look forward to consolidation and a more efficient government.”
Communities considering reorganization should contact the New York 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.