Designing a 21st-century Local Government

Scenario: To address the growing financial burden of local government on taxpayers, leaders in this historic community – the birthplace of the Women’s Rights Movement – seek to analyze what municipal consolidation of the Village and Town would mean for services and taxes.

Challenge

  1. Determine if it makes operational and fiscal sense to dissolve the Village government as a legal entity and merge all services in the surrounding Town
  2. Draft a plan for incorporating the Village’s essential services in the Town’s administrative structure
  3. Inform voters’ decision-making by evaluating the fiscal and budgetary implications of  restructuring two governments into one

What CGR Delivered

Expert project management and plan design support, encompassing:           

  • Comprehensive review of existing conditions
  • Design of dissolution options for the Village of Seneca Falls, including the impact on critical services
  • Development of the plan for managing assets and liabilities
  • Analysis of the fiscal and operational impact on the community of each option identified
  • Facilitation of the planning committee’s selection of a preferred alternative
  • Extensive public engagement effort to inform stakeholders about the implications of merger

Result and Impact

  • Following a year-long process, the Village government endorsed the dissolution plan
  • Voters approved the plan (2010)
  • The restructuring – the largest Village dissolution in NY history – took effect (2012)
  • Taxes in the Town of Seneca Falls for former Village taxpayers were reduced more than 48%
  • Town water rates reduced by 50%