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Panel Approves 2020 County Shared Services Plan

The Tompkins County Shared Services Panel, made up of municipal leaders from throughout Tompkins County, today approved Tompkins County’s 2020 Shared Services Plan.  With that approval, County Administrator Jason Molino will submit the Plan to the New York State Department of State before the end of the year.

There were no changes to the draft Plan, prepared by the Panel and County Administration and reviewed by the County Legislature, prior to the approval vote.  Leaders of nine municipalities, all of those who were present, voted in favor.  The County’s seven remaining municipalities will be contacted and asked to also submit their votes.

The Plan includes the new position of Flood Resiliency and Climate Conservation Engineer with the Tompkins County Soil and Water Conservation District, funded by Tompkins County as part of the 2020 County Budget—a position estimated to produce $130,000 in first-year savings, since municipalities would not have to individually contract for required engineering services for local soil and water conservation projects.  Other elements included in the plan are study of a back-up Dispatch Center with Cortland County (estimated $75,000 in savings); shared town/village recreation services (Town of Ulysses and Village of Trumansburg - $23,720 in savings); expansion of the Greater Tompkins County Municipal Health Insurance Consortium by at least two municipal members - $50,000 in savings); and a County-funded short-term rental data partnership:  subscription to private data on short-term rentals, for the shared benefit of municipalities the County’s Finance Department and Department of Planning and Sustainability, and the Strategic Tourism Planning Board – $35,200 in estimated first-year savings and $7,000 in estimated savings for bulk purchase of the data. 

In its findings, Shared Services Panel report indicates that the recommended initiatives are valuable and attainable, but that as in the 2018 Plan, the Panel did not find any new initiatives that would produce significant, recurring new property tax savings, beyond Tompkins County’s many large long-standing shared services initiatives.

Administrator Molino said the Plan will be submitted to the State within the next 30 days and implementation of the shared services initiative will begin after the first of the year.