About the study
The Village of Watkins Glen is partnering with Schuyler County to conduct a comprehensive study that will outline opportunities to reduce municipal costs and improve the efficiency of police services for the Village. The study will identify alternate police service structures through shared services or functional consolidation with the Schuyler County Sheriff's Department. The goal is a sustainable, recurring reduction in the Village's annual tax levy without compromising the quality of service or diminishing the public safety in our community. The Village applied for and received a Local Government Efficiency Grant in the amount of $49,500 to fund this study.
Schuyler County is located in the Finger Lakes region of New York at the southern end of Seneca Lake. Schuyler County was formed from portions of Steuben, Chemung and Tompkins County in 1854. There were 18,343 residents in the 2010 census. The Village of Watkins Glen, incorporated in 1842, is located in the Towns of Dix and Reading and is the county seat of Schuyler County. There were 1,859 residents in the 2010 census. A diminishing tax base threatens the Village's ability to continue to efficiently provide quality services without further increasing the tax burden on Village residents. While prudent economics requires Village leaders to examine cost saving changes in service delivery, they must also commit to maintaining an excellent quality of life for Village residents. A Village of Watkins Glen Police Department Restructuring/ Consolidation Study will investigate all available means to reduce the cost of police service and will contain practical recommendations that can be implemented and sustained.
CGR completed the final report entitled Future of Law Enforcement in Watkins Glen in November 2013. After the acceptance of the Final Report, the Village of Watkins Glen has decided to conduct a survey of residents by conducting a paper survey with the January utility bills. The results of that survey will aid the Village Board in making future decisions about the future of law enforcement in the Village.