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Manlius: Task Force imparts first round of recommendations

Two years of deliberation by the Town of Manlius Citizens Task Force on Consolidation and Intermunicipal Cooperation have finally borne fruit.

The purpose of the task force, appointed in 2005 by Town Supervisor Hank Chapman, is to find ways for the town and its villages -- Manlius, Fayetteville and Minoa -- to provide efficient, economical services without duplication.

County Legislator Kevin Holmquist discussed three main issues during the April 11 Manlius Town Board meeting.

Purchasing

The task force determined that the town and its villages possess very similar purchasing procedures. All four municipalities use state or county contract prices when feasible, but also buy locally at a lower price if available, according to Holmquist's interim report.

The task force recommended that the request for any equipment or vehicle purchase should be accompanied by an evaluation of the need, and a comparison with state contract specifications. By doing the evaluation and comparison, decision-makers would be able to make an informed decision relating to the necessity of the expenditure.

The report suggested an advisory committee, comprised of members from each municipality, should meet on a regular basis to work out cost-effective solutions to present back to each unit (town and villages) for consideration.

Insurance

Because insurance can be costly, the task force recommended that the town and its villages combine to hire a professional insurance analyst or risk manager to come up with a single, comprehensive, cost-effective approach to managing risks through purchasing insurance policies and other financing means. The evaluation could be a shared expense between the town and villages of Manlius, Minoa and Fayetteville.

Recreation

The task force found that all four recreation programs seemed to be operating autonomously. The report said an analysis of costs and services would need to be performed.

Two recommendations were given: The town newsletter could dedicate at least one page to each village recreation schedule, providing residents with a full list of programs in one easy to use publication; and to hold an overall public survey asking town and village residents what they would like to see for recreation opportunities. The task force believes the survey would be helpful in allocating tax resources and finding shared services.

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