The City of Schenectady is partnering with CTG to lay the groundwork to develop a shared regional code enforcement repository to benefit cities and municipalities in the Capital Region, as well as serve as a model for other regions in the state. Along with the neighboring city of Amsterdam, they are filing joint applications with the NYS Department of State's Local Government Efficiency Program to fund the initiative. Theresa Pardo, director of CTG presented the details of the grant application to the Schenectady City Council on Monday, August 5, 2013. The grant will focus on building management, policy, and technology capabilities, creating the platform, and developing the necessary data analytic capability.
Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy met recently with CTG's project team to work out details of the grant application. From left to right: Theresa Pardo, Mayor McCarthy, Meghan Cook, and Derek Werthmuller.
“Schenectady is committed to finding new and innovative ways to improve economic development within our communities,” said Gary McCarthy, Mayor of City of Schenectady. “There are critical interdependencies among public safety, economic growth, and community goals, and we want to take proactive measures in sharing code enforcement information as a way to maintain livability and property values.”
Ongoing property issues can negatively impact a community through decreased property value, reduced business development, and increased hotspots for crime. Recent successful urban revitalization efforts in other cities have focused on the development of code enforcement programs to enhance building, housing and property maintenance in ways that stabilize neighborhoods, increase community esthetics, and foster economic growth.
“The city is excited for the opportunity to work with CTG, global experts in the field of information use in government, to benefit from their experience and knowledge related to the complex issues of data collection and sharing to reach our goals,” said McCarthy.
Theresa Pardo, CTG’s Director commented, “While collecting and using code enforcement data is critical for a city, the real value comes when it can be integrated with other data and ultimately used to inform government and private sector investment decision making.”
Currently, cities within the Capital Region are challenged in maximizing the use of this data because they lack the infrastructure needed to collect, share, and use data across jurisdictions. Creating a regional code enforcement shared service will support the resolution of recurring issues in a number of city departments and community organizations.
“A regional approach makes sense as each government wrestles with updating their code enforcement systems and processes all while facing similar financial constraints,” said Ann Thane, Mayor of Amsterdam. “We need to leverage our collective investments and approach this in a collaborative way so we can share the cost burden and the benefits.”
“A shared regional code enforcement repository will achieve savings and improve municipal efficiency through shared services, a key priority of this grant program,” said McCarthy. “The City is committed to working with other local governments in the Capital region to control costs while improving the quality of life and services provided to the residents of our communities.”