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Building Bridges

A scan of municipal service sharing opportunities in Greater Racine

September 2018

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With the arrival of Foxconn, municipal governments in Greater Racine will face vastly increased demands for a variety of local government services, ranging from public safety, to public works, to public health. In our latest research, we explore how those governments might seek opportunities to enhance service sharing to meet this growing demand.

Key findings:

  • Three municipal service areas in Greater Racine may merit further analysis for potential comprehensive service sharing or consolidation. Public health, fire and rescue, and parks and recreation are key core services that are relatively consistent across municipalities and that require staff with special levels of training and knowledge that are in short supply in a tight labor market. In addition, for each of the three, local officials already have moved toward some form of consolidation.
  • There are smaller-scale opportunities for service sharing in several other functional areas. Those areas include certain municipal court services, specialized waste and recycling collection, and police department incident reconstruction. Also, in areas where several municipalities already contract for services, savings and efficiencies may be realized from joint procurement processes.
  • Identification of service sharing potential for various municipal service areas is only a first step. Far more time intensive, expensive, and politically difficult steps include advanced data collection and analysis of cost centers and service standards; research on state law and potential impacts on state funding streams; consideration of human resource policies and labor contracts; and development of cost sharing methodologies and governance structures.