Rec District and City Announce Shared Services
by Peter Shelton
Nov 15, 2012 | 411 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print

IGA Will Result in Taxpayer Savings

MONTROSE – The Montrose Recreation District and the City of Montrose have announced an intergovernmental agreement to share services, an arrangement, according to MRD Executive Director Ken Sherbenou, that will save taxpayer dollars while also, “unfortunately,” resulting in the loss of four jobs at MRD.

The MRD board has unanimously approved the agreement; the city council will take up final approval at a future meeting.

Montrose City Manager Bill Bell said the impetus for the IGA “came from our council retreat this year. One of our top three priorities was to look at saving money through shared services and IGAs with other entities.” Bell said the city has already, or is currently working on, agreements with Ouray County, the Town of Telluride, the City of Delta and the Town of Olathe on everything from shared information technology to GIS work to trash services.

On the MRD side, Sherbenou said, the benefit is “higher quality service provided in the most cost-effective way.” The savings will come from “economies of scale,” he said. He noted that MRD has shared services with the city before. For example, MRD has for over a decade provided programming for 50+ activities at the city-owned Senior Center. “This is the deepest collaboration so far.”

The lost jobs in this case, he said, are “one of the unfortunate consequences” of the arrangement with the city.

Of the four jobs going away, Sherbenou said, one was a vacancy that won’t be filled, while three other full-time positions were “eliminated, with severance.” Two positions were in maintenance, one was in finance, and a third was administrative.

Assuming the agreement becomes final, the city, with its greater resources, will provide the red district help in finance (budget preparation, payroll), IT (computer, website and phone), and legal services, for which it will be reimbursed by MRD. City maintenance crews will step up maintenance on all MRD outdoor fields, including Ute, Cerise, McNeil and Holly, and all buildings at the sites.

“Our guys were already maintaining a lot of their [MRD’s] grounds,” Manager Bell added. “This just finishes it off. Except for some of their buildings. We don’t want to get into the pool business.”

Speaking of the Aquatic Center, Sherbenou said that the malfunctioning main pool pump, the one that forced an emergency shut-down two weeks ago, has been “repaired, replumbed, rewired” and that the pool was “up and running as of 6 a.m. Monday (Nov. 12). We appreciate our community being patient with us.”

Sherbenou said the breakdown was a “foreshadow” of more incidents to come. “The pool is definitely past its shelf life . . . We’ll do our job, do out best. But this pool inadequate. It is inadequate even if we repaired it with all new mechanical.”

He believes the community is closer to embracing a new recreation center and pool. Measure A, the 0.2 percent sales tax, which would have funded a new facility, garnered 44 percent of the vote last spring, Sherbenou said. “The last time it was tried, in 2007, it received 33-percent approval.

“We’re mobilized to working towards that new center. We’re looking ahead to purchasing land. We’re saving about 30 percent of our revenues, increasing our capital fund every year. We’ll have about $2 million for the capital campaign by the end of this year.

“We’ll commence [with a new rec center] when the community tells us they are ready.”

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