SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. Sleepy Hollow trustees want to find out whether consolidating water services with neighboring villages Tarrytown and Briarcliff Manor is feasible and cost-effective.
To do this, trustees recently passed a resolution authorizing Sleepy Hollow Mayor Ken Wray to sign an inter-municipal agreement with the two villages so that they can take part in a feasibility study.
The idea is to consolidate services within different villages to lower the cost to the taxyper, Sleepy Hollow grant writer Fiona Hodgson said.
The study would be partly funded by an award of a $26,000 government efficiency grant from the New York State Department of State to Sleepy Hollow. The grant requires a $2,888 match from the village.
Hodgson noted that initial quotes from engineers put the study well in excess of the grant money from the state. Hodgson said officials from all three villages hope to lower the cost of the study by completing some parts of the study themselves, figuring that each village's water department would know its system the best. The consultant engineer would study the impact of consolidation.
The IMA stipulates that Sleepy Hollow will administer the grant and contract with the study's consultant engineer. A working group comprised of officials from each village will oversee the project. Each village would pay 33.3 percent of the costs.
Each village's Board of Trustees would need to authorize the IMA before the study can begin and a separate IMA would need to be signed before any consolidation efforts could be inacted.
The villages of Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown and Briarcliff Manor provide water separately to their residents while sharing a connection to the Catskill Aqueduct. All three villages would need to sign the IMA before the study can be done. The IMA lays out the project's scope and each village's contributions.
According to the IMA, the consolidation study will include different models for a consolidated water entity with a recommendation of the model which will best reduce costs, improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the operation, and increase the ongoing reliability of the water system.
The study will also look at issues of staff duplication, different water rates and billing structures, labor issues, physical infrastructure, licensing and debt service levels.
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