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Solving Local Government Challenges: Regional Service Delivery

By sharing and consolidating services, a growing number of local governments are providing faster service, cutting costs and streamlining processes.  Regional service delivery is customizable and allows local governments to determine how to most effectively collaborate and pool resources.  This “sharing economy” is a means to help governments deliver the services their citizens require on an as-needed basis.  As a result of sharing solutions, citizens enjoy real benefits without incurring long term costs or tax increases.

As you consider regional service delivery, here are three common questions that local governments need to consider:

  • Instead of retainer fees or reliance on tax dollars, a pay-as-you-go model is funded by the users paying fees associated with their service needs.  The flexibility of this approach provides value for localities.  "It provides us access to top quality people without maintaining full-time employees that may be underutilized during slow times of development," noted Michael Webb, City Manager for Edwardsville, Kansas.
  • Georgia Nesselrode is the Director of Local Government Service for the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC), which entered into an agreement with the Institute for Building Technology and Safety (IBTS) to provide regional service delivery in November of 2013.  She notes, “While many of our larger cities and counties have the capacity to handle these services in house, this program will provide a cost-effective option for those that need additional support.  Local governments are all looking for ways to operate more efficiently and save money while still offering quality services, and the IBTS agreement will give them additional options that they might not be able to provide on their own.”
  • Many governments believe that a collaborative solution will result in a loss of autonomy in areas like decision making authority or finances.  However, actual users of regional service delivery find that this is not true.  While certain service aspects, such as customer service portals and fee payments, are delivered through a common interface, the technology also allows for clear separation of costs for every participant.

This service delivery approach is being discussed at many national governmental association conferences and is being implemented in many regions of our nation.  However, it still has room to grow and will do so as municipal leaders assess how a customized solution could fit their unique needs.

Read more: Solving Local Government Challenges: Regional Service Delivery 

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