County makes steps toward consolidation of small departments

NORWICH – It has been three years in the making, but an effort to consolidate two county government departments appears well on its way despite continuing opposition.

The Chenango County Board of Supervisors shaved back personnel expenses in the 2012 Traffic Safety Board and Stop DWI budgets, two separate departments that share a part-time manager. Though a small move – with savings of only about $13,000 annually (plus fringe benefits) – it has been debated, proposed and tabled within government standing committees on several occasions since 2009.

The TSB administers defensive driving courses and uses the revenues for radio and television advertising campaigns and to sponsor youth groups that promote safe driving. It also accepts applications for the Stop DWI department’s revenues, which are collected from drunk driving violations. Municipalities and other county departments have tapped into that funding stream for equipment, such as patrol cars, cameras, drug testing kits; patrol overtime expenses; and programs like ceremonies for graduates of the Alternatives for Incarceration program, otherwise known as drug court.

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