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V'ville and New Scotland look into sharing services

With Gov. David Paterson's State of the State address came talks of economic stimulus, energy alternatives and solutions to the fiscal problems plaguing New York state.

One of Paterson's proposals was to consolidate local government services to cut costs. Some local officials said they are considering all the options but will ultimately put their constituents' needs first.

Voorheesville Mayor Robert Conway said the village and Town of New Scotland have discussed potential cost-cutting measures, but they have not implemented any plans to dissolve the village into the town.

It is something that we talked about. It's not necessarily something that we're preparing for, Conway said.

Conway said the two entities have a good amount of municipal cooperation.

He said they already share several services and pieces of highway equipment and have always tried to save the taxpayers' money wherever possible.

He said other consolidations, such as the City of Schenectady into the county, or the Village of Green Island into the town, might be a better fit.

Conway said the benefits of consolidating are not clear at this time, but he would not be opposed to the move if it proved beneficial.

"I'm not opposed to it if I see the benefit to it," Conway said.

He also said the most important deciding factor would be the support of the residents.

It all depends on the location, the quality of services and potential benefit, Conway said.

Conway added that pride or self-interest could prevent the village and town merging.

"The big knock on it is that everyone tries to protect their own little parochial interests," Conway said.

Conway also added if the two entities were to consolidate several new districts such as water, sewer, sidewalk and lighting would need to be created.

New Scotland Town Supervisor Tom Dolin said the town does not have an official policy on the matter, but said the town and the village share a lot of services, and it seems the village residents are not in favor of a merger.

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