Nassau County Executive Laura Curran and a group of local government officials approved a plan to share services on Wednesday that they say will save $7.3 million if fully implemented.
“I am proud that the separate municipalities within Nassau County will be collaborating to deliver improved governmental services at a lower cost to the taxpayers,” Curran said in a release on Wednesday. The 2020 Shared Services Plan will not only save residents’ money, it will help our County and fellow municipalities run more efficiently.”
The Shared Services Plan was first presented in July at the Nassau County Office of Emergency Management with more than 100 municipal leaders in attendance. The plan was created by the panel in conjunction with the State University of New York’s Rockefeller Institute of Government in Albany.
“Nassau County has a tremendous opportunity to save taxpayers money while delivering better, more efficient public services,” Rockefeller Institute President Jim Malatras said.
Plans such as this one spawned from the County-Wide Shared Services Initiative passed in 2017 by the state legislature and signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The goal of the plan is to bring county and officials from local governments together and find ways to combine public services and save money in Nassau County.
The panel is led by the Curran and consists of the mayors and supervisors of the county’s three towns, two cities, and 64 incorporated villages. The panel recommends initiatives to coordinate services and provide cost reductions for the county.
“Although our member villages are constantly utilizing viable methods to better effectuate the quality and the sharing of their local services for the benefit of their respective residents, we also acknowledge that this legislation and its accompanying incorporated procedures is necessary and proper and a welcomed endeavor,” Nassau County Village Officials Association President Edward Lieberman said.
“From services to storage, to equipment, to technology, there are so many ways that municipalities in Nassau County can lend a hand to each other and in turn save residents money,” Curran said. “In the end, it’s all about being cost-effective and utilizing our resources to the fullest, and that is why this shared services initiative is so important.”
According to the draft of the plan, which will be implemented in 2020, a digital platform called “Nassau Saves” would be created as an online portal to expand the use of joint purchasing and the sharing of equipment and personnel.
In addition to shared information technology services, the plan features enhanced energy efficiency programs that feature a county-coordinated audit of energy use of all municipalities and school districts. Proposed efficiency plans along with an increase of street and outdoor LED light fixtures, and community solar programs will be some of the energy-efficient recommendations made to municipalities.
Going off of energy-efficient solutions, the plan also outlines an increase in proper waste-management solutions. The plan shows recycling initiatives will be implemented to reduce the $304.8 million that was spent on waste removal services in 2018.
Nassau County saved $200,000 as a result of its 2017 plan, according to the county executive’s office, and is eligible for matching funds from the state.
While the plan itself was approved by Curran and the panel on Tuesday night, a representative from the county executive’s office said that not all of the recommended initiatives are guaranteed to be implemented due to any unforeseen governmental issues that may occur throughout the year.
Curran will hold a public presentation of the plan before submitting it to the Department of State by Dec. 31.