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Consolidation and service-sharing

New York's Buffalo News (1/8) columnist Bruce Andriatch wrote that government consolidation, although making increasing sense for money-starved communities, is not likely to happen first in suburbs [between towns and villages]. "[T]here simply is not enough of an incentive for any suburban community to cut" costs. Instead, some communities are proceeding with "small steps," for instance, Evans absorbed the Angola Police Department.

However, one city, Batavia, "is dealing with a familiar combination of an aging, shrinking population and the diminution of its once-thriving industrial tax base." The City Council has applied for a state grant to study sharing services with the Town of Batavia, which surrounds the city, including the possibility of merging — eliminating city and town boundaries and forming one Batavia. At the same time, the city and Genesee County are studying a plan to merge police dispatch services. There seems to be support for both ideas in the community, because "there's only so far we can go with regards to the kinds of services we offer." If agreements are reached, Andriatch wrote, Batavia might become "the region's proving ground for consolidation."


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