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N.Y. Conference of Mayors honors 11 innovative community projects.

Eleven municipalities were honored for their innovative community projects by the New York Conference of Mayors and Other Municipal Officials and Empire State Report magazine in their fifth annual Local Government Achievement Awards competition.

The awards were presented June 9 during the conference's annual meeting.

Middleville, which won first place in the 4,000 and fewer population category, acquired a dilapidated building due to go through a county tax sale, and with volunteer help, created a centennial park that is now the site of community events.

The merit prize in this class went to East Syracuse for fostering good citizen/police relations. Through the Citizen Police Academy, residents tour department facilities, attend lectures and accompany an officer on patrol.

A comprehensive effort to improve municipal service and reduce costs through changes in operating procedures garnered first place in the 4,000 to 10,000 population category for Cobleskill. The village has revamped its government structure, among other improvements, and is developing joint purchasing/service agreements with other nearby villages.

Williston Park earned the merit prize in this class for improving its aesthetic appearance using private donations and volunteer labor. A beautification committee held an attractive store-front competition for village merchants and encouraged residents to improve their properties.

First place in the 10,000 to 20,000 population category went to Scarsdale for its new centralized public works maintenance garage. To reduce construction costs, village crews completed much of the work on the pre-engineered facility.

Lynbrook won the merit prize in this class for a cooperative solid waste disposal agreement with Rockville Centre that saves much time and money. Lynbrook uses the latter's transfer station, in exchange for purchasing a tractor/trailer to haul waste from both villages, furnishing roadway salt and allowing Rockville Centre to use its sign shop graphics machine. Rockville Centre maintains the vehicle and staffs the operation.

A diverse Downtown Vision Task Force formed in response to the relocation of businesses to a suburban shopping center brought home first place in the 20,000 to 35,000 population category for Ithaca. Proposed solutions addressed marketing, regulatory procedures, public transportation, culture, social and environmental issue and physical development.

Plattsburgh earned one of two merit prizes in this class for resurrecting a downtown riverfront improvement project abandoned for lack of funds. The mayor developed a scaled down park and solicited funds and in-kind contributions.

The second merit prize in this category went to Rockville Centre for its solid waste agreement with Lynbrook (see above).

Syracuse took top honors in the 35,000 and above population class for employing preventive Team Oriented Policing to cope with a drug supermarket in a high crime neighborhood. Officers worked with other city agencies on issues such as housing code enforcement and child abuse to reduce the volume of calls from the area.

The merit prize in this class went to White Plains for its computerized Public Inquiry System, which provides access to property tax and water billing information at a terminal in the lobby of City Hall. The system reduces the amount of staff time needed to respond to such inquiries.

Submissions were judged on program innovation, cost or time savings, service improvement, improvement of quality of life, management with minimum effort, active citizen participation and applicability to other municipalities.
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Title Annotation:New York Conference of Mayors
Author:Turner, Laura
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Jul 27, 1992
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