Thinking Beyond Municipal Boundaries - Cost Reduction Opportunities

Publication Date: February 2004

Publisher: Center for Governmental Research Inc.

Author(s): Charles Zettek

Research Area: Economics

Keywords: Government Management; Public Finance; Shared Services/Consolidation

Type: Report

Coverage: New York


CGR provided an array of examples of how to use economies of scale to reduce costs in the Buffalo region. Using information from the New York State's Comptroller's office, CGR found that the greater community could reduce annual costs by $8.2 million to $9.9 million by acting as an integrated entity throughout the regional urban core to provide functions that go beyond city boundaries.

CGR focused on three distinct categories of government services (refuse collection, street lighting and information technology) where the savings could be significant through the use of coordination. CGR also provided concrete steps that officials should take to achieve savings such as creating a single plan to address regional issues and combining the region's purchasing power to obtain pricing leverage. Finally, CGR recommended that a regional Urban Services District be created in order to achieve further efficiency.