The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

Local News

November 7, 2012

Boards discuss more shared service options

Medina Journal-Register — SHELBY — The process of finding potential paths for cost-savings through shared services has been a slow-moving one for the informal committee of Medina, Ridgeway and Shelby officials, but some of the proposals discussed Monday could soon bear fruit.

Representatives from each municipal board and local highway and water departments met Monday at Shelby Town Hall to discuss their ideas for shared services and review recommendations made in 2011 by a citizen’s committee.

Some ideas were agreed to be non-starters, but several will be investigated further before the informal committee meets again Jan. 7. When the committee resumes its talks, they will have more information on the estimated costs on several proposals.

Shelby Supervisor Skip Draper said he’d look into the tax impacts of shifting the costs of highway snowplowing to residents outside the village. That idea, and the village potentially abandoning its plowing operation, are both legally possible, but the gulf between village and town priorities is to far to bridge at this point.

”Is there recognition that it’s a problem,” asked Meier about what he said was a double- or triple-tax for highway plowing on villagers.

”The towns recognize it, but the village is duplicated (in services) by choice,” Draper responded.

The village also left the meeting with homework. Meier said he’d come up with a proposal for Medina, which has a part-time employee whose responsibility is to perform mandatory fire-safety inspections, to contract out that service to the towns.

”It’s a service delivery enhancement,” Meier said.

Monday’s meeting had an added layer of expertise and knowledge due to the presence of Ridgeway Highway Superintendent Mark Goheen, Medina Department of Public Works Superintendent Pete Houseknecht and a number of highway department employees.

The new voices brought their own cost-saving suggestions. Houseknecht proposed that a joint-application for grant funding to purchase and install radio water meter systems would be beneficial in each municipality.

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