Chautauqua County Deserved State Grant

Chautauqua County missing out on a $20 million grant from New York state regarding government is both disappointing and upsetting. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced last week that Brookhaven in Suffolk County had the best plan in winning the first Municipal Consolidation and Efficiency Competition.

Our county, which was a finalist for the award, has made huge strides when it comes to consolidations and efficiencies. Voters here have already eliminated two villages in Forestville and Cherry Creek and failed by just two votes to dissolve Sherman.

We also have been working on regional projects, such as the north county water district.

Cuomo, instead, went with a town on Long Island that expects to create $120 million in savings over 10 years for its 486,000 residents. There, that’s a drop in the bucket compared to our county, which runs on a $270 million budget serving 129,000 people.

It is not often this corner has taken Cuomo to task due to his efforts to rebuild Western New York. But Brookhaven does not need this money. Long Island is an economic machine. Chautauqua County, while scrappy, is no match for downstate in terms of population or clout.

We still must make more efficiencies happen in government and our schools — grant or not. We just need to continue the will.

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