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Oswego leads push to collaborate, lower costs for residents

The Village of Oswego continues to lead the way on making local government more collaborative and efficient through its innovative shared services initiatives. 

On Monday, June 23, Village of Oswego invited staff from the Oswegoland Park District, Oswego Township, the Oswego Fire Protection District, the Oswego Public Library District, Oswego School District 308 and Kendall County to come together at the Oswego Police Headquarters for a shared services summit.

The meeting gave leaders from these different government bodies the opportunity to identify ways to reduce costs through collaboration. For example, government bodies could make large purchases of supplies jointly to save money with bulk discounts or save time and energy by sharing information and collaborating on map systems.

The Village already informally works with other units of government, for example, coordinating between the police department and the Oswego Fire Protection District on fueling vehicles and joint training. Recent collaborations with Oswego Township have included sharing tree trimming and stump grinding services, and working together to patch Wolf’s Crossing, which stretches through the Village’s and the Township’s jurisdictions several times. Monday’s summit was designed to look more formally at other opportunities to collaborate.

“These initiatives can lower costs, improve services, and save time,” said Oswego Village President Troy Parlier. “I’m thank to be working alongside our government partners to benefit each entity individually and, more importantly, our community as a whole.”

Already, the Village has several agreements with other communities to provide the same level or better levels of services for less cost to residents. In the winter, Oswego produces and shares the salt brine used to keep roadways clear with the Village of Montgomery and Montgomery, in turn, clears some of Oswego’s streets. In the summer, Oswego partners with Yorkville to host outdoor movie events, like the Dine N Drive drive-in movie screening of The Greatest Showman at the Park N Ride on August 8.

Oswego and Yorkville even share two staff members, a facilities manager and a purchasing manager. Splitting salary and benefit costs ensures that both communities get highly qualified staff for less cost.

The Oswego shared services summit held this week concentrated specifically on the different units of government within Oswego, rather than other municipalities. Following the meeting, staff will continue to work on money-saving ideas, like developing shared bid and contract language that can help the different units of government make bulk purchases together.

For more information on the services offered to residents by the Village of Oswego, visit www.oswegoil.org.

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