City, Town officials at a standstill on consolidation issue

CHENANGO COUNTY – Despite the findings in a study released in April that encouraged consolidation or shared services between the towns of Norwich, North Norwich and the City of Norwich, local government officials can’t seem to agree on a course for moving forward.

The Division of Local Government is holding a series of workshops around New York to discuss the Department of State’s shared municipal services program, which would provide funding for a consolidation study. But with few local leaders planning to attend the workshop, the issue of government efficiency might be at a standstill.

City of Norwich Mayor Joseph Maiurano will be attending a workshop on Oct. 22 in Binghamton. He said he hoped the workshops will open the door for discussion of shared services efforts. “The key to consolidation is opening the door,” Maiurano said. The mayor explained he hopes the workshop will provide some ideas. “We need to start talking and keep an open mind. The time has come to start looking into the future and asking where we see ourselves,” Maiurano said.

The mayor said consolidation or shared services could benefit all of the parties involved. “You can’t develop without water and waste water,” Maiurano said. “The airport and the industrial park need to be hooked up if you want to bring in businesses. There are a lot of issues as you get more developed.”

Town of North Norwich Supervisor and Chairman of the Chenango County Board of Supervisors Richard Decker said he thought the word ‘consolidation’ scared people away from the idea, but he acknowledged the need to explore ways to become more efficient. “Any information we can pick up for the future we have to look at,” Decker said.

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