St. Lawrence County’s consolidation committee to discuss police, property tax jurisdiction, and dispatch
BY JIMMY LAWTON
North Country This Week
OGDENSBURG - St. Lawrence County recently wrapped up a test run of operating the city’s dispatch services.
At a services committee meeting July 19, St. Lawrence County Administrator Ruth Doyle said a report on the pilot program would be presented to the county’s consolidation committee.The committee was formed to study, investigate and help facilitate various shared service initiatives requested by the City of Ogdensburg.
The initiatives include the county taking over the city’s police dispatch, which was one of the suggestions presented by the state’s financial review board.
The county is also working with the city in regard to potentially taking over the city’s property tax foreclosure jurisdiction.
The city is the only municipality in the county that handles its own foreclosures, which means it’s taxpayers are responsible for making the county whole on unpaid taxes.
If the county takes over the jurisdiction, that cost would be absorbed by taxpayers throughout the county. It would also give the county ownership of properties that default on taxes. Currently those properties are returned to the City of Ogdensburg.
The change in jurisdiction would likely be a huge cost savings for the city. However, the county had put the discussion on hold as it worked to settle an ongoing dispute with the city regarding sales tax collections and shares.
Doyle said the city has made two additional requests which will also be discussed with consolidation in committee. The requests were made in regard to healthcare and law enforcement, but Doyle did not provide details at the Services Committee meeting.