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City-County Collaboration Saves More Than $33 Million

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Chicago City Hall (Credit: CBS)

dellimore250 Craig Dellimore
Craig Dellimore, political editor for WBBM, joined the station in 1983...
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CHICAGO (CBS) – After a year of collaboration between the City of Chicago and Cook County, officials say they have achieved tens of millions of dollars in savings.

WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports the collaboration has saved $33.4 million in savings and new revenue in the first year. The mayor’s office said more than 85 percent of the savings will recur annually.

The initial goal of the collaboration was to have at least $66 million by the end of 2014.

Ralph Moore, a member of the committee overseeing the collaboration of the says the results are impressive.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports

Part of the collaboration includes the formation of the Chicago-Cook Workforce Partnership, combining three workforce boards into one organization. According to a news release from the mayor’s office, this has saved $2.2 million in annual administrative costs and brought in an additional $3 million workforce innovation grant.

Moore has his own business consulting firm and spoke about the merge.

“Not only did you have three different overheads, copy machines and phone systems, you bring them into one so you save money right away,” he said. “You save money on support staff, but I think more importantly you now bring a collaboration of the brightest minds in workforce development together under one roof.”

There has also been a collaboration on anti-violence initiatives, setting the goal of making Chicago the safest big city in the U.S. by 2020. There is a plan with 11 action steps to improve prevention, intervention and response to violent crime.

There have been 23 initiatives in the collaboration. Collaborations for anti-violence, animal care and control, broadband and human resources are areas that were not originally envisioned in the report.

The collaboration has also been working to integrate the goals of World Business Chicago’s Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs, calling for a regional strategy to to attract, retain and grow business and make interaction between businesses and governmental agencies easier.

Preckwinkle said, “We’ve said from the start that this is just the beginning for the city-county collaboration, and working together as partners has allowed us to save taxpayers money, increase efficiency and promote quality of life in ways that hadn’t been considered before.”