Time to Share?

Now that Hiawatha Broadband has decided to not apply for round two stimulus funds, and given the budget pressures local governments face, it is time to enter into a serious discussion of sharing/consolidating City, County, and School District I.T. departments. Other cities have found significant savings through consolidation of I.T. departments, and this is often one of the least political savings options to consider.  Part of the savings could be used to fund completion of fiber for local government, which in turn could result in further efficiencies in government operations.  The educational benefits of fiber for the school district are immense.  Districts could share classes, and students would be able to have a much broader selection of classes to fit their individual interests.

As a community, we need to decide whether having three separate I.T. departments is a luxury we can no longer afford.

Update: In looking at the City, County, and School District budgets, I estimate that approximately $2,000,000 is spent annually on I.T. by the three units.

City I.T. budget here.

County I.T. budget here.

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2 Comments

Filed under Accountability, Internet & Technology, Minnesota, Red Wing, Red Wing City Council

2 responses to “Time to Share?

  1. Carol Duff

    I think this is a good idea but whether it is the time or group to pull together needs to be discussed. However, at a recent National League of Cities meeting, we were told the way of the future was for governments and other groups to pull together rather than to do everything individually. We just don’t have the money to do that anymore.

  2. With cuts in LGA coming, and likely higher employer contribution rates for PERA and TRA, when might be the time to get at this?

    It’s only going to get worse as 2012-2013 state revenue projections look horrible.

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