F’ville, Fayette eye partial consolidation of services
Preliminary talks underway to see if county might take over city firefighting, water service, inspections
Discussions are underway between Fayetteville and Fayette County to potentially merge city and county services such as fire, water and building inspections.
The idea behind the partial consolidation is to save money in a local economy that continues to slump. The initial reports concerning any consolidation of services could be forthcoming in the next couple of weeks.
Fayetteville City Manager Joe Morton said the idea for potentially merging services is financially-driven and came out of discussions at the City Council retreat in March. He said discussions with Fayette County are underway about the potential for consolidating the fire, water and building inspection departments.
“The city did a preliminary financial analysis and there appeared to be some cost-savings associated with the merger,” Morton said, adding that other reasons for considering a consolidation of one or more services include economies of scale and service delivery.
Pertaining to the city’s fire department, Morton said the city is currently looking at the operational side of the issue that includes staffing, equipment, fire stations and organizational structure.
“We’ve met with the chief and the three shifts of firefighters. We got some good feedback and we’re looking at the issues,” Morton said.
The discussions come at a time when local revenues continue to fall due to a slumping tax digest. Also in the mix is a grant that will construct a new county fire headquarters and emergency center. If eventually approved, the merger could potentially have the city fire station on South Glynn Street operated as a county facility, Morton said.
Morton said it could be up to two weeks before a report on the discussions is issued.