Overview: Why & What
Long before the Governor and New York State began promoting the consolidation of localities, the community of Massena has sought out opportunities to share services in order to better serve our residents and lower costs.
Over the past several decades, at least two formal studies (and a number of informal studies) have been conducted to determine whether Massena's Town and Village would benefit from full consolidation. Interestingly, one of the reasons the studies didn't overwhelmingly indicate consolidation was an ideal path forward for Massena was due to only nominal savings since the local entities have already reduced costs by sharing services. And, though not insurmountable, a consolidation for Massena is complicated by the fact that our Village overlaps three different townships: Massena, Louisville and Norfolk.
And the statistics of success for such consolidations in NYS aren't terribly encouraging. Since the state passed the NY Government Reorganization and Citizen Empowerment Act in 2009, only two local governments have successfully consolidated. It’s not surprising then, that sharing services is more popular, since it has the potential to provide savings without sacrificing local autonomy or governance.
What The Law Says
Article 5-G of the state’s General Municipal Law authorizes local governments to agree to share services. Because it applies broadly, there are tremendous opportunities for collaboration between and among different entities like local governments, school districts, fire districts and water conservation districts.
Shared Services in Massena
Included among the agreements that the Town and Village have established for sharing services are:
- Massena Joint Recreation Commission
- Code Enforcement
- Tax Assessor / Assessment Office
- Business Development Corporation for a Greater Massena
- St. Lawrence County & Town of Madrid Highway Agreements
- Massena Central Schools Transportation & Fueling Facility
- Water Department / Billing (Town Water Districts)