Consolidating Norwich: What comes next?

Based on recommendations made by the state Commission on Local Government Efficiency and Competitiveness, Governor David A. Paterson announced a bill that would save local governments $50 million, his office reports.

Across the state, the commission recommended consolidating smaller school districts, centralizing more services at the county or regional level and requiring local government and school district employees to contribute anywhere from 10 to 25 percent, depending on the amount of coverage, at minimum toward the cost of their health insurance. In total, the report estimates there could be an annual savings of over $700 million.

Locally, the City of Norwich, Town of North Norwich and Town of Norwich could see efficiencies, savings and increased revenues – one scenario offers over $3 million in state aid in the next five years – if full or partial consolidations occurred, the report claims. The three could also feasibly create a combined water and sewer authority, or merge all three municipal highway departments into one.

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