Officials: Shared services plan could save Rockland County millions

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NEW CITY -

Rockland County officials announced a shared services plan Friday that they say could save the county $20 million through 2019.

Officials say the plan aims to combine services and cut costs. Legislators who helped outline the idea say it would eventually benefit taxpayers.

Services like animal control, sewer district consolidation and highway department equipment would be part of the sharing plan. Representatives from local fire departments, engineers and local leaders are backing the plan.

MORE: Town hall forum on shared services plan

Haverstraw has the highest property taxes north of New York City. The town's mayor is backing the sharing initiative because he says every little bit helps.

"It's not going to be a home run but it may be the single that you need to get a run in at some point," Mayor Mike Kohut said. "So we don't expect to see big savings but we do expect to see some savings that will go toward the bottom line."

VIDEO: Shared services initiative draft plan unveiled in Rockland

The plan would be optional for schools and fire departments, but mandatory for every village and town in Rockland County.

There will be three public forums on the plan before a vote on Sept. 12. If the measure passes, it will be up to the individual municipalities to implement the changes.

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