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Villages Save Money Through Sharing

Mothers everywhere teach their children to share. For the six villages of Greenburgh and Sleepy Hollow, that lesson literally pays off.

The communities save money as a result of the Village Officials Committee, a group formed in 2003 to share ideas among the villages of Greenburgh: Tarrytown, Irvington, Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry, Elmsford and Hastings-on-Hudson. Sleepy Hollow joined the group in 2010.

Under the program, villages work together to bid on projects. Some villages have also bought equipment together they now share. The committee was recently recognized with a second place award for Public Management and Administration from the New York Conference of Mayors.

The program has been a success, Tarrytown Village Administrator Michael Blau said. He said Tarrytown has used the program to share maintenance contracts as well as equipment with other villages.

“It’s saved taxpayers dollars,” he said.

Irvington Village Administrator Lawrence Schopfer agrees, citing a recent paving project.

While Irvington has had some “fairly significant paving work,” it isn’t significant to contractors, he said. Last year, for example, Irvington completed about $250,000 in paving. Schopfer said if Irvington had put out the bid on its own, it wouldn’t have gotten a lot of competition. But the bid put out through the Village Officials Committee was more than $1 million.

“We received very competitive bids and the winning bid was from a very large contractor who, quite frankly, would not have bid on Irvington’s contract if it were done alone,” he said. “So that would have reduced the size, the level of competition right there, just because some companies are just bigger and need bigger contracts.”

Sharing bids also means work gets done quicker, Schopfer said, adding that if a village needed a small amount of work done in the past it would have waited for the contract to be larger.

One village acts as the contact for a project, Schopfer said. That village will gather up necessary data for companies to bid on.

“The actual mechanics of it is the contract gets bid out on like a unit price basis,” he said, citing a recent elevator maintenance bid. “In other words, a bidder would bid a certain amount of dollars per month per elevator. So in the case of Irvington, we’ve got two elevators, so you apply that price to our two and we pay our two directly to the contractor.”

Blau said the sharing committee resulted in a savings of 50 percent of the costs for the elevator project.

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