Village agrees to store salt, avoiding $187,000 expense to Oswego schools
The Village of Oswego and Oswego Community School District 308 will share salt storage space this winter, saving $187,462 of taxpayer money.
The school district had been storing salt used to clear parking lots and sidewalks in a nearby building owned by Oswego Township, but since the Township sold the building, the district has been keeping its salt pile beneath a tarp. The result is a hardened mass that can melt together, costing staff time to break up the salt before it can be used. School district staff had researched building a new pole barn where the salt could be stored, which would have cost the district $187,762.
In August, the Village of Oswego hosted a meeting of public works, grounds, and operations staff from multiple government agencies within Oswego, including the school district. As a result of the discussion, the school district and Village struck up an agreement to store enough salt for both agencies in the Village-owned salt dome, across the street from the school district’s maintenance facility.
“In addition to saving on the cost of construction, storing in the Village salt dome will be all-around easier, and more efficient,” said Christi Tyler, Chief Financial Officer for the Oswego Community Unit School District.
Staff generated other cost-saving ideas, too. For example, the school district offered to loan specialized equipment like scissor-lifts to change lightbulbs and do other ceiling maintenance.
Since an intergovernmental shared services kick-off meeting in June, Village staff have begun hosting meetings with other governing bodies within Oswego like townships and the school district and have agreed to work cooperatively on services like roadway patching and the salt storage agreement.
“By just communicating with each other about what we’re doing and thinking creatively, we can lower costs, improve services, and save time,” said Oswego Village President Troy Parlier. “I’m happy to be collaborating with our partners to save money for our school district, and by extension our taxpayers, in a very simple way.”
For more information on the Village of Oswego’s shared service initiatives, visit www.oswegoil.org.
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