Mayors, Service Directors Meeting in Stow to Discuss Shared Equipment
Mayor Sara Drew said officials will talk about sharing pieces of equipment to use intermittently instead of each city purchasing an expensive tool.
Nearby cities already work together and share services, especially when it comes to large fires or police chases through several communities.
But, a group of city officials from Summit and Portage County are gathering at Stow City Hall to talk about the possibility of sharing expensive service equipment. A concept that Mayor Sara Drew says is unprecedented for this area.
"Service departments have not been a place of mutual aid in the past," she said.
Stow is playing host for the second regional meeting Thursday afternoon and officials from 12 communities, including Streetsboro, Kent, Cuyahoga Falls, Twinsburg and more will be present to talk about how each city's service department could provide assistance across city lines. Streetsboro hosted the first joint meeting.
"It is my belief that the days of standing alone have gone by the wayside," said Streetsboro Mayor Glenn Broska in a Gateway News story. "We must make a commitment to continue to search for the answers that will help us better the communities in which we work and live."
Drew explained the assitance would be through capital expenditure items and not through shared employee services.
While talks are still preliminary, Drew said she is interested in creating a data base to see what items the group has in stock, so each city could borrow a piece of equipment, instead of purchasing one for a lot of money.
For example, a DuraPatcher (for road repairs) could cost upwards of $20,000 and may already be owned by a nearby city.
Of course, liability could become an issue in borrowing expensive machinery, but Drew said before anything is final, legal terms would need to be agreed on.
The goal, she said, is to save as much money as possible while still retaining autonomy and the level of services Stow residents are used to right now.
"Sharing a big piece of equipment only makes sense," Drew said. "But, we'll be mindful to not get to the point that we're short-changing citizens, we'll maintain our level of service."