DuPage County Report
On Wednesday, DuPage County Board Chairman and Forest Preserve District of DuPage County President Joe Cantore outlined $275,000 in taxpayer savings recently achieved through shared services and joint-purchasing agreements and projected additional savings to grow annually.
DuPage County and the Forest Preserve District point to the area of Information Technology, in which significant taxpayer savings demonstrates the value of increased collaboration. Efforts to share software-licensing agreements, Geographic Information System services for mapping and one locale to house hardware for data backup purposes have already realized $246,000 in combined savings. It is predicted that collective savings could grow by as much as $100,000 over the next year in that same area.
In another example, officials highlight a cost savings of more than $29,000 for the purchase of aggregate stone and gravel for trail maintenance and landscaping projects at DuPage forest preserves after the District entered a joint bid with the County’s Public Works department to lock in a lower price. The Forest Preserve District and County’s Division of Transportation also partnered on a tree removal project along Naperville Road in Wheaton to expedite services with reduced disruption to the public.
DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin said, “When local government works well, it generally doesn’t make news. But it’s important to pay attention to efforts like these. We are determined to wring value out of each and every cent we spend. It’s not enough for us to simply provide a service. The bar is much higher. We have to be satisfied, and we must communicate to our residents, that we are constantly pursuing ways to increase cost effectiveness. I’m pleased to enjoy this partnership with the Forest Preserve District which provides real, measureable value to taxpayers.”
“Every dollar saved, whether by the County or the Forest Preserve District, is a dollar saved for the DuPage County taxpayer,” said Forest Preserve District of DuPage County President Joe Cantore. “Through cooperation, we can independently serve our missions while jointly serving County residents. The leadership of both organizations is determined to work together to eliminate redundancies and team up for greater buying power. The savings we’ve already identified are a start, and thanks to a renewed commitment to collaboration, there’s potential for even bigger savings moving forward.
In addition to the $275,000 in savings, the two entities agreed on changes to the Forest Preserve District’s mosquito management policy. The revised policy better protects public health in the face of emerging mosquito-borne diseases while identifying protocols for mosquito management and abatement in DuPage County.
The Forest Preserve District also plans to use the County’s surplus vactor schedule to minimize its overall costs for sewer cleaning while maximizing lower rates on equipment and staffing. The County benefits not only by keeping its equipment in service but also by receiving revenue to offset its costs. The District intends to spend $10,000 on sewer-cleaning services with the County rather than with a third party.
Chairman Cronin and President Cantore agree both leaders are committed to identifying additional areas for partnership, shared services and joint-procurement opportunities with taxpayer savings as the goal.