As more municipalities and school districts look for new ways to save money and operate efficiently, the villages of Dobbs Ferry and Hastings-on-Hudson will collaborate to explore these possibilities. The municipalities are hiring a consultant to study the effects and potential benefits of merging their public works departments.
“It’s an opportunity for the two communities to work together to explore the practicality of combining our respective public works departments to determine if there’s savings or efficiencies that would be gained if we combined,” said Hastings-on-Hudson Village Manager Francis Frobel.
The study is made possible by a $55,556 grant from the New York State Local Government Efficiency Grant 2011-12 Program. While the bulk of the grant comes from state funding, the villages will split the $5,556 local match.
- $45,000 for a feasibility study
- $6,000 for a real estate appraisal, an assessment of vacant land acquisition, evaluation of Dobbs Ferry central garage for expansion
- $3,576 supplies and materials: stationary, photocopying and mailings
- $190 for a draft memorandum of understanding
- $285 for a draft request for proposal (RFP)
- $75 to advertise the RFP
- $150 legal review of consultant contract
- $280 publicity and two public meetings
Before a RFP to hire a consultant is issued, a group consisting the superintendents of public works, village administrator/manager, village board trustees and budget committee members from both villages will meet to discuss the scope of the study.
The objective of the study, according to the grant agreement, is to:
- Reduce the cost of public works service delivery by decreasing the expense of the physical plant, equipment and/or the service delivery system
- Increase efficiently through economies of scale, concentrating expertise and developing staff specialization and refining service delivery including redrawing routes
For a detailed outline of what they study will consist of see pages 31 to 37 of the attached PDF.
“Hastings is in need of a new facility and Dobbs Ferry has a new state-of-the-art facility which could offer some spare capacity,” wrote Dobbs Ferry Mayor Hartley Connett in his Jan. 18 newsletter. “Of course, it is important to not only identify the savings potentials, but also that the needs and interests of our residents served by the Dobbs Ferry DPW operation are not compromised in any way.”
Connett said the two villages have also formed research teams to analyze whether or not recreation department supervisors can be shared and/or create enhanced programming for residents of both municipalities.