Algonquin takes lead in contracting its employees

Published: Saturday, March 2, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT
Caption
(Sarah Nader – snader@shawmedia.com)
Algonquin's IT employee Kevin Crook does computer maintenance on a Huntley squad car while working Thursday at the Huntley Police Department. Crook works for the village of Algonquin and is contracted out to Huntley once a week.

ALGONQUIN – Once a week, Kevin Crook – an Algonquin information systems employee – is at the Huntley Police Department working on the squad car computers and servers.

Crook has a good understanding of how Huntley works with the county’s communications system. When needed, he also works on municipal operations.

Crook is one of Algonquin’s employees who has been contracted out to other taxing bodies.

Since fiscal 2011, the village has had employees working in different municipalities or doing maintenance for other taxing bodies.

When the Great Recession hit, local governments had to figure out how to do things more efficiently.

“It made sense for taxpayers,” said Mike Kumbera, Algonquin assistant to the village manager. “It brings in extra revenue and offsets having the expense of staff on hand.

“It’s definitely a way to get through the recession.”

So far in fiscal 2013, the village has brought in $173,200 from other taxing bodies by providing services through intergovernmental agreements.

In 2011, the village brought in $58,600 through the intergovernmental agreements; in 2012, it brought in $156,100.

The village has intergovernmental agreements with Huntley to provide information systems assistance, building inspections and plan review services.

Algonquin provides fleet maintenance for the Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District and the Pingree Grove Police Department.

Cary and Carpentersville also use Algonquin for building inspections and plan review services.

“We have the staff that understands municipal regulations,” Kumbera said. “I think we’re definitely competitive.”

When it comes to plan reviews, Algonquin projects take precedent over other municipalities in terms of completing reviews, Kumbera said.

The Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District recently renewed its contract for fleet maintenance.

“It’s extremely helpful,” Interim Fire Chief Patrick Gericke said. “It gives us a resource of qualified, knowledgeable mechanics in a facility that is closely located to us. It’s reassurance our equipment is repaired quickly and done right.”

Assistant Chief of Administration John Gaughan said before the agreement, the district would rely on vendors outside the area for vehicle maintenance.

Sometimes the district would need to take vehicles to Elmhurst, which required two firefighters driving to the location to drop off the equipment, driving back to the station and eventually returning to pick up the vehicle.

To work on fire engines requires special certification.

“Finding vendors that were close by was difficult,” Gaughan said

The district started contracting with the village for IT services because the district’s IT manager is approaching retirement. Contracting with the village allows the district to potentially outsource the service to the village on a permanent basis.

Currently, the village’s IT personnel serve as a backup for the district’s IT manager.

The village’s IT employee “has been able to learn and understand our system, our network and our needs,” Gaughan said. “It’s a model that has proven beneficial to both agencies and ... our taxpayers.”

Huntley uses plan review services to supplement its own staff, Village Manager Dave Johnson said. Huntley also decided to use IT services from Algonquin.

“We looked at our operations and looked to partner with agencies who have resources we don’t have,” Johnson said.

Huntley had employees leave, which allowed the village to look at options on how to replace them. It opted for intergovernmental agreements to share resources, Johnson said.

The village saves on long-term costs, salaries and benefits. Johnson estimated the village has saved close to six figures.

“It certainly is an advantage from a financial perspective,” Johnson said. “It is something that has worked well for Huntley, and I like to think Algonquin.”

Huntley has an agreement with Lake in the Hills, in which Huntley provides plumbing inspection services.

Johnson said Algonquin has taken the initiative for sharing services.

“In the area, they certainly have been the leader in reaching out in trying to do it,” Johnson said. “We feel it has worked for both of us.”


Providing services

Algonquin has seven intergovernmental agreements to provide services to other taxing bodies:

Information Systems

• Huntley Police Department

• Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District

Fleet Maintenance

• Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District

• Pingree Grove Police Department

Building/Inspections/Plan Review Services

• Village of Cary

• Village of Carpentersville

• Village of Huntley

Source: Village of Algonquin


Providing services

Algonquin has seven intergovernmental agreements to provide services to other taxing bodies:

Information Systems

• Huntley Police Department

• Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District

Fleet Maintenance

• Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District

• Pingree Grove Police Department

Building/Inspections/Plan Review Services

• Village of Cary

• Village of Carpentersville

• Village of Huntley

Source: Village of Algonquin

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