Thursday, June 16, 2011



UC Exec Mike Hein was awarded a 2011 National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Award for his work on Intergovernmental Collaboration/Shared Services in Ulster County.  NACo acknowledged the County Executive’s “hard work to promote quality, efficient, and responsive management and administration.”
Hein said, “This award is the recognition of a strong group effort and I want to commend the many towns that have participated in this program.  I believe shared services are the wave of the future and I look forward to growing this program.  Simply put, it works and saves taxpayers money.  We all serve the same taxpayers and it is critical that governments expand collaboration to protect them.  Taxpayers cannot afford escalating property taxes and as government leaders, we must continually find more creative ways to provide essential services while reducing costs.  Collaborating with Ulster County’s towns on projects, like the highway shared services, is an effective way to keep taxes low and make sure the job gets done.  I also want to recognize the amazing efforts of the County and town highway workers for making this program a reality.”

This innovative “shared services” program decentralizes various highway services including snow and summer maintenance, from the County to the towns for a fee. This provides cost savings to the County and additional revenue to the towns. This program reduced duplication, and provided better services and safer roads, and is better for the environment, all while saving our collective taxpayers money.
According to Town of Saugerties Supervisor Greg Helsmoortel, “Mike saw a problem with a solution that was simple on the surface, yet complex because of the need to involve different governments and agencies that usually work best because of their independence. The concept was to create greater efficiencies in snow and ice removal and general maintenance throughout the year by changing the traditional hierarchy of who plows what roads. Patiently, slowly, he built the coalition needed to get the job done.”
Despite the fact that the 2010-11 winter season ranked as one of the worst winters in the past 100 years, Ulster County received a total of 71 inches of snow, in 2011, Ulster County Executive Mike Hein was able to implement a package of reforms in the Department of Public Works, including this Intergovernmental Collaboration/Shared Services Initiative. These reforms save an estimated $2.3 million from the prior year’s budget. 

 There are currently six towns involved in the Intergovernmental Collaboration/Shared Services program. Shandaken, Gardiner, Woodstock, Saugerties, New Paltz and Hardenburgh
At least two of these towns are interested in expanding their mileage participation in 2012 and two additional towns have expressed interest in entering the program.  
County Executive Hein added, “It is my great hope that this is just the beginning. Collectively, we have created a strong foundation to build upon.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I saved on my county taxes yes. But my town taxes went up. Not really sure if I saved money or not on this program. All I know is that the check I write to the bank every month has increased every year since I bought in Ulster County