The Digital Towpath community cloud and e-government content management system provide local governments with easy-to-use, cost efficient tools, which they use to build full featured web sites, increase communication with citizens, manage electronic records, and improve efficiency. […] There are over 130 Digital Towpath websites serving a total population of more than 650,000 residents, largely from the most rural portions of our state. […] The Digital Towpath Project is governed by a group of [New York] municipalities formed by intermunicipal agreement. […] The hardware and software that members share are owned by the Digital Towpath Cooperative. […] The Digital Towpath Cooperative was organized in 2005 under an Intermunicipal Agreement (IMA) as authorized by NYS General Municipal Law, Article 5G.” The cooperative board has nine members with representatives from member municipalities. Members pay an annual fee of $850–1,250.
While the Digital Towpath Cooperative was established in 2005, the project originated from a 1998 collaboration between ten New York municipalities, staff from the SUNYInstitute of Technology in Marcy, and Niagara Mohawk/National Grid (NMNG). NMNG supported the initial development of municipal websites, which went live in 2000, before transferring the project to Northern Publishing Inc.