Waverly Village trustees agreed Tuesday to explore the possibility of sharing services with the Waverly Central School District.

District officials are pursuing a state Local Government Efficiency Program grant that would allow the district and village to hire a consultant to explore cost-saving options to consolidate services, Mayor Kyle McDuffee said at Tuesday's board meeting. The two may be able to collaborate on payroll, maintenance, purchasing and other matters, McDuffee said.

The competitive grant would provide up to $200,000 per project, with the first phase providing $55,000 to hire the consultant, McDuffee said. The second application would fund the implementation of the consultant's recommendations, he said. The deadline to apply for the first phase of the grant is March 13.

McDuffee said he met Tuesday with school district superintendent Joseph Yelich to discuss possible options. The village and district already cooperate on a limited basis, and the implementation of shared services would further the relationship between the two entities while saving taxpayer funds, he said.

The possible collaboration is important given the funding crunch schools have seen in recent years, McDuffee said. "Schools are going through a major challenge in New York State," he said. "We could be the model for this."

Yelich, who spoke about the possibility of shared services at last week's board of education meeting, "has been very positive on this project," McDuffee said.

If the grant is successful, the district and village may look into including the town of Barton and other neighboring municipalities, school districts and county services, McDuffee said.

Amanda Renko can be reached at (570) 888-9652; or email: arenko@thedailyreview.com.