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Revenue Generator

Gaylene Rhoden

What is your community doing to generate revenues in the Public Works Department? This question is being asked by one of our elected officials. Our Public Works Department does not control water or sewer. Outside of grants, I am stuck for ideas. We do not have the resources to be contracting our services out to other public or private entities.


Derek Johnson


This is a tough one. These days many of the strategies for generating Public Works revenue are done through their water and sewer utilities. See this Public Works Magazine article for an example of this:

Since your Public Works department doesn't handle those, it may be advisable to take this advice more generally. As the article discusses, one of the unfortunate measures that Public Works departments have adopted in recent years to make ends meet involves finding ways to institute fees for services that were previously free. Many cities are instituting stormwater drainage fees in order to help pay for the services they provide.

Furthermore, ICMA and the Alliance for Innovation recently published a White Paper providing guidance on dealing with revenue shortfalls at all levels of government. I have attached that document to this response. It offers examples of cost-savings strategies being implemented by cities and towns nationwide in response to the fiscal crisis.

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10 Nov 10
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15 Nov 10

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