Town, city at loggerheads over shared services study

NORWICH – Skeptical of Albany’s involvement in small town affairs and weary of words like “merger” and “consolidation,” Town of Norwich officials again ignored pleas from City of Norwich Mayor Joseph Maiurano to join a state-funded, shared municipal services study.

The study would examine ways the city and town could possibly cut costs by sharing such services as highway, water, sewer, police, fire and administration.

The town board reinforced its position against the state’s push to scale-back local government Wednesday morning during an Intermunicipal Committee meeting between the town, city and the Town of North Norwich.

The application deadline for funding to conduct the study is Dec. 14. The city passed a resolution to take part, but is not eligible without the town.

“For not a lot of cost to taxpayers, we could conduct a study that will take a look at everything,” said Maiurano. “Water, sewer, EMS, highway. It could encompass everything.”

“The word ‘encompass’ – that’s what I don’t like to hear you say,” said Town of Norwich Supervisor David C. Law, fearing the study would be a precursor to pushing the town into merger and consolidation talks.

Maiurano said the study didn’t have to be about merging or consolidating, but rather a resource that may or may not be beneficial in any number of ways.

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