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Scotia, Glenville still consider 'sharing' services

After the plan for a joint sewer fell through for neighboring municipalities, Scotia and Glenville, the two still plan to be able to merge some existing services. The goal is to consolidate what is possible in an effort to save taxpayers money.

Glenville Supervisor Frank X. Quinn said he is wary of the term consolidation and prefers to approach the idea as collaboration or sharing. Quinn said residents become nervous when the word consolidation is used because they envision two very different municipalities becoming one and eventually losing their identity.

"What we are looking for are areas where we can work together. We already share some highway department services, and it's effort that works," said Quinn.

Just last year, Scotia agreed to share a salt shed with Glenville, which saved the village money.

Another "unofficial shared service" is among the two police departments.

Scotia Police Chief John Pytlovany said that the town and village police departments work in cooperation. Pytlovany said Glenville Police helped aid in the investigation of a countywide vandalism, resulting in the arrest of two individuals.

"We help each other out. They know we are here, whatever they need and vice versa. It's part of being a good neighbor; part of what makes out departments that much stronger," said Pytlovany.

This past April, Gov. Eliot Spitzer formed a Commission on Local Government Efficiency and Competitiveness. While the committee largely looks at local government sharing services with the state, the committee is looking at neighboring communities working together as well. The commission works to find ways to create a more efficient local process through merging, consolidation and regionalization of services.

Spitzer said the ultimate goal is for the 4,200 statewide local governing bodies to find a way to improve services while saving taxpayers money. In a press release, Spitzer said Upstate is an area that needs to really focus on consolidation.

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