Shared services package discussed at county meeting

(Photo Source: Unsplash).

Cortland County Legislators, municipal leaders, and county officials discussed devising a plan to find economic efficiencies in shared services at a recent County, City, Towns, Villages, Schools Advisory Board (CCTVS) meeting.

Legislative Chair Kevin Fitch (R-LD8) said members of the legislature have held conversations with county administrator Rob Corpora regarding a shared services plan. While an actual plan was not formalized at the meeting, further discussions should be expected at subsequent county public meetings. A plan of this caliber would allow municipalities to opt into a new way to collectively share costs for services that can be fulfilled more efficiently with the oversight of the county. This could lead to an eventual reduction in spending for municipal budgets.

An example of a shared services project is Tompkins Shared Services Electronic Records Repository (TSSERR), a Laserfiche-powered digital archive that is hosted by Tompkins County.  This service can be used by Cortland and Tompkins County residents to access digital records. Municipalities in Cortland County, such as Cortlandville, use TSSERR to post agendas for public meetings.

“This is where municipalities need to be open to listen,” Fitch said. “ We have always wanted to work with municipalities. This is something that in today’s day and age, you have to do.”

Corpora said he wants to submit a plan to the state of potential shared services that could eventually result in state funding for some of those projects. The county currently has a list of projects that could be a good fit for a shared pool of services that municipalities can tap into.

“We are not going to force anybody, but we are looking at centralizing tax collection,” he said. “We have a few other things in the wings such as shared personnel. We know the union has to be involved, as well as the county personnel department. If there is anything we can do to work together and help the constituents save money and make things more efficient, I think we should try to.”

The county administrator gave an example of shared services with other counties.

“We do (certification) of trucks for other counties,” he said. “Not just county vehicles, but other bulk trucks so people can keep working. There are a lot of things we are doing. The list is endless.”

CCTVS chair and county legislator Sandra Price (D-LD-14) said the county may dig up an old plan for shared services that was never sent to the state to use as a reference.