Local officials attend workshop encouraging shared services

CHENANGO COUNTY – Representatives from the City of Norwich and the Town of Plymouth were the only local government officials who attended a workshop Wednesday to discuss the Local Government Efficiency Grant Program.

In April, the Division of Local Government released a study that encouraged the City of Norwich, the Town of Norwich and the Town of North Norwich to look at shared services or even consolidation. However, local officials cannot seem to agree on how, or if, they should proceed.

The workshop, held in Binghamton, was the tenth of 15 workshops held throughout the state. While the program was primarily held to provide information on the LGE Grants, the program also was intended to emphasize the importance or reducing costs through shared services.

“It’s important and vital for governments to work together,” said Lawrence Brinker, director of government relations for the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce. Brinker explained that in New York State, there are 1,607 general purpose local governments, and when added to the number of special purpose governments, school districts and other taxing agencies, New York has a total of 4,250 local government entities. “Now is the time to start thinking about sharing services and taking advantage of what this grant has to offer,” Brinker said.

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