Smaller towns look for shared services opportunities

PITCHER – Two of Chenango County’s tiniest towns are looking toward neighboring Cortland County for ways to consolidate government services and provide more for their aging populations.

Supervisors from the towns of German and Pitcher have been meeting regularly for nearly a year with their counterparts across the county line from Cincinnatus, Willet and Taylor. A group of business leaders and planners from Cortland County and school officials from the Cincinnatus School District have also participated.

The goal? To determine ways the five towns might save taxpayers money and possibly bring people and businesses into the region.

The initiative began with a call to the five supervisors from the Cincinnatus Business Association, according to Town of Pitcher Supervisor Jeffrey B. Blanchard.

“They wanted to get input on how to further the community there. Around the same time, shared services became the hot word,” said Blanchard. The five towns had been sharing their highway departments’ labor and equipment on an informal basis “forever,” he said.

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