DuPage County, Forest Preserves Share Services To Cut Costs

CHICAGO (CBS) — Two DuPage County governments said Wednesday they have combined efforts for a “win” for taxpayers.

Top leaders of DuPage County and the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County said they have worked together to share some services and combine purchases to save taxpayers $275,000.

That amount of money might be viewed as “a drop in the bucket,” but DuPage County Board chairman Dan Cronin said it’s a necessity that units of governments do more to work together.

“This is the new normal. There isn’t going to be more money available for local governments to provide services. I think that people are living in a fantasy if they think there’s going to be more money,” he said.

The savings come from the two units of government sharing some information services, software licensing agreements, and joint purchases of gravel and sand for use on forest preserve trails and by the DuPage Public Works Department.

Forest Preserve District president Joe Cantore said the $275,000 is the “floor,” not the ceiling of what can be realized when different governments collaborate.

“If we have some kind of expertise, or somewhere where we can save money for the taxpayer, then it’s a win for everyone,” he said.

DuPage County Board chairman Dan Cronin said the two government bodies have no choice but to do more with less.

“We’re looking at a very tight budget next year. It becomes more and more difficult, more and more challenging for us to make ends meet. This is out of necessity, in large part,” he said.

Forest Preserve District commissioner Jeff Redick said, of the $275,000 total, “approximately 200-thousand of that is in annual savings. So as you sit here and say $275,000 is a drop in the bucket, in five years, we’re sitting here and we’re talking over $1 million.”

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