Town Seek to Share Services as Budgets Dwindle
Towns in some counties are thinking about combining their individual police forces into one countywide group, while others are considering a consolidation of firefighting efforts. Across the state, cash-strapped towns are looking towards collaboration as a way of making ends meet.
"With the state threatening to cut aid to local governments, and town budgets stretched thin, the state's 566 municipalities are scrounging for consolidation opportunities, even if the actual cost savings are not well documented.
'There's been a lot of discussion of shared services, over time. And then when you go out and you actually look at these cases, it's not so clear as to what the savings were. Nobody's keeping track of the savings,' said Marc Holzer, dean of Rutgers University's School of Public Affairs and Administration. But, Holzer said, 'These are good experiments.'"