Lake George Village and Town officials have authorized their personnel to create a joint Buildings and Grounds Department by 2018. Village DPW Superintendent Dave Harrington and Jim Martino of the Town’s Building and Ground Department will work together to submit a plan for a new shared services agreement between the two municipalities. Supervisor Dennis Dickinson and Mayor Robert Blais have directed both to join Town and Village employees into one department. Their work will involve mowing, lifeguards, buildings, grounds and beautification.
The goal is not only to save funds, but to provide a better level of service in all areas with year-round experienced employees. Presently, the Village hires substantial amounts of employees seasonally. Turnover is great and supervision difficult, particularly in restroom cleaners and beautification.
As needed, the Village will supply landscapers to the Town, but now with the Town’s Gateway Project, the need is even greater. Presently, the Village has some part-time cleaners, while the Town has a full-time staff. The Town presently mows much of the Village properties as well. There is also a need to combine the waterfront staff to guard the three municipality owned beaches.
The combined department would be part of the Town’s budget, similar to the Village maintaining the Town’s Caldwell Sewer System with Village employees.
Mayor Blais indicated that the goal was to raise the level of service in all those areas with experienced, year-round supervisors instead of depending on part-time seasonal workers. No present employees will be affected, but may have increased responsibilities. A reduction in seasonal hiring may also take place.
The two superintendents will present their initial report to a committee in September consisting of the Mayor, Supervisors, Councilwoman Marisa Muratori and Deputy Mayor John Earl. The goal is to implement the shared services on January 1, 2018.
Mayor Blais said, “Add this shared service to what we presently do together in water, sewer, mowing, lifeguards and fire protection and we’re as close to consolidation as you can get. We continue to benefit all our taxpayers with higher level of service at less cost.”
“The Town and the Village already work well alongside one another, and this is a great opportunity to combine efforts, share services and improve efficiency. The New York State Department of State offers numerous grants through the Local Government Efficiency Program and we will look at submitting applications for this funding to help us implement the proposed joint-department,” said Dan Barusch, Town Director of Planning and Zoning.