Our View: Let's save money by sharing services

Published on Saturday, 16 December 2017 20:52
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In this time of giving and sharing, it’s good to see our local representatives working together to make services more efficient - and cheaper - through consolidation.

We reported this week that the Plymouth Town Council agreed to share local communications towers with Thomaston to improve police communications.

Plymouth has service gaps in its public safety radio system, Mayor David Merchant said. “Thomaston has two towers, and by granting us access to these two towers hopefully this will improve the communications in some of our dead spots.”

The agreement has the two towns splitting the $47,092 annual cost of leasing the towers, an expense expected to rise by 4 percent annually.

There has been plenty of talk about such moves in Bristol and New Britain, particularly involving sharing of resources between the cities and their major partners in the local boards of education. Combining facilities management, purchasing, human resources and business operations are all areas mentioned when the topic has come up - almost always around budget time. But little has actually been put into effect.

There are some bright spots, however. Communities have been successful in dealing with their garbage in a regional way. Bristol and New Britain, along with other towns such as Berlin, Plainville, Southington, Plainville and Wolcott, came together under the Bristol Facility Policy Board, which handles the municipal solid waste disposal process “in the safest and most cost-effective manner possible,” the board says. And they’ve done it for years.

A private-public partnership with the energy giant Covanta, which manages the Bristol facility, makes it possible.

Higher quality and better technology for less money, leveraging public and private resources. Just what we need now.

Let’s keep sharing into this new year.

Posted in The Bristol Press, Editorials on Saturday, 16 December 2017 20:52. Updated: Saturday, 16 December 2017 20:54.