Board seeks input on how governments can save money |

Board seeks input on how governments can save money

Daily News staff report

SILVERTHORNE – County Commissioner Gary Lindstrom’s call for a money-saving “City and County of Summit” consolidation may have landed on deaf ears, but a push is still under way to find ways for local governments to join forces.

A series of three public meetings is being held to take public comment on money-saving ideas. The second meeting is 7 p.m. today in the Buffalo Mountain meeting room at the County Commons.

Gary Severson, executive director of the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments, said ideas generated at the first meeting include one vehicle maintenance facility for the whole county and one entity to maintain all the county’s ball fields, parks, school playgrounds, football stadium, open space and trails.

“Some people are really thinking about it,” Severson said of ideas to save money.

The driving force behind the meetings is the Summit Board of County Commissioners, Severson said.

Severson said the county, like the towns, is challenged to maintain services in the face of sales-tax and fee-revenue declines in a soft economy.

“Services need to be maintained, and that’s the rub – how to do it with fewer dollars,” Severson said. “Ideas are not debated at the workshops, but discussed for better clarity.”

Some of the other ideas suggested at the first meeting include:

n Put all libraries, including county libraries, public school libraries and the library at Colorado Mountain College, in one system.

n Centralize all town and county building inspections into one unified department.

n Unify all individual geographic information system (GIS) electronic mapping systems into one system.

n Centralized purchasing for all local governments, fire and special districts.

n One road and street maintenance and snow-removal organization for the entire county on roads not maintained by the state.

All ideas will be presented to local government elected officials and staff, Severson said.

– Daily News staff report

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