February 23, 2009

Bristol eyes regionalization

Faced with tough budgetary choices, the city is eyeing the possibility of sharing equipment and perhaps services with neighboring towns.

Mayor Art Ward said he’s talked with the leaders of the towns surrounding Bristol – Wolcott, Plymouth, Burlington, Farmington, Plainville and Southington --- to get the ball rolling.

Ward said he hopes they can meet in March “to get some type of idea where we can help each other” and save money for taxpayers.

Gov. Jodi Rell has called for the state to offer financial incentives to push municipalities to try regional approaches wherever possible.

One area that’s bound to be on the agenda if area leaders meet is the possibility of sharing costly public works equipment, which no single town may need often but most have a use for sometimes.

Morris Laviero, a public works commissioner, said Bristol has a number of costly pieces of machinery sitting around so much that it’s hard to justify the expense of having them.

He said it is “a fantastic idea” to consider sharing with other towns so the financial burden is split and the equipment is used more often.

“There may be a way to use equipment that’s just sitting around,” Ward said.

Rell said in her budget address that her administration wants “ to help cities and towns through regionalism, a much discussed concept that must finally be put into action.”

“Municipalities can and should cut costs by sharing – sharing equipment, facilities, schools, personnel and more,” the governor said.

Her spending plan includes $40 million for new grants for infrastructure and equipment for municipalities “that want to join together to provide services like recycling, tax collection and payroll.”

There is also a $10 million fund proposed to assist regions to buy shared equipment such as plows, dump trucks and garbage trucks.

In addition, Rell said , two existing programs that pay for local projects and roads should be adjusted to provide 10 percent extra for towns that “join together on regionally beneficial programs.”

“It’s time regionalism was more than just something we talk about,” Rell said. “It’s time for it to be a reality.”


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Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

just another feel good thing from Ward!

How about making some real cuts!!

Anonymous said...

"Morris Laviero, a public works commissioner, said Bristol has a number of costly pieces of machinery sitting around so much that it’s hard to justify the expense of having them."
Laviero's construction company can buy the excess equipment then lease it back to the city. No conflict of interest. Why stop there, sell him all the trash trucks he can run that too.

Anonymous said...

Must be coming up to election time!

Anonymous said...

2:35 poster,

do you mean the a kind of conflict like Ward voting on police contract when his son is a cop?

Kind of like that!?

Concerned Conservative said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

just another good thing from Ward!

Keep up the good work Mayor!

Anonymous said...

Art probably isn't aware, but in Bristol, equipment belonging to different departments has to be operated by that department.
How will that work between towns?

What will Ward have to give the unions to allow this to happen?

A disaster waitnig to happen!

intelligence - not said...

dumb de dumb, dumb - dumb de dumb dum - what a bunch of whacked out idiots - the feds say it's a good idea and the state endorses the concept but the future of Bristol rests on the ding-bats of Bristol society, such as these negative pea-brains. (the brains part is definately a "stretch")
mighty morons take notice.

Anonymous said...

If it is so good, why wasn't it done sooner, why isn't everyone clamoring for it?

Just another way to help the unions!

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to find out what compensation the unions will demand from this.

Anonymous said...

I still don't see why we can't just have a County government setting in CT? I think almost every other State has County courts, schools, police, fire, taxes etc. Why does CT need to be so different...and resistant to change? If it works in 40+ other States, why not in CT? Conslolidate, renegotiate and delegate. It will be a more efficient system and save money. We need big changes in this town...and State!! Oh and the constant conflicts of interest really need to stop. It's out of control and so obvious..so blatant...without regard. Everyone complains, nobody does anything about it and the good ole boys keep doing what they've always done...while we sit here watching and in some cases even contributing to it. It makes me really wonder if the United States is really "united" as a people anymore. I have my doubts. We can't seem to get out of the current rut society has us in and we are digging ourselves deeper with every passing moment. Maybe I need to start going to church? Oh ya, I forgot thats a scam to and all about the mighty dollar instead of the almighty!

Concerned Conservative said...

What happens when towns actually need a certain piece of equipment at the same time...such as snow removal or street cleaning equipment?

This is a joke. I heard John Olsen (the leader of the state AFL-CIO)actually state that there's "not too many unions as some town leaders feel, but there's too many towns". City/town identity is important in community pride no less quality of life, performance and accountability to the ciitizens.

"Regionalization" is a bad idea. In the long run this is merely a way for government to take more money from tax payers via the state income tax.

And February 23, 2009 5:38 PM: if you really want to make a reasonable argument for something (my guess is that you're incapable of such a thing), please refrain from calling people dumb.

Concerned Conservative said...

I'd like to add another point (for those who know little about the world outside of Hartford County much less Bristol).

If the federal government has made a statement supporting this idea, it's because there are areas of the country (such as northern New Jersey) that have enormous amounts of people and tiny municipalities governing them. The problem of a lack of "regionalization" in other areas (such as New Jersey) dwarfs the lack of "regionalization" in central Connecticut.

Again it's like comparing Boston or Queens with Bristol (in regards to public transportation for example). It seems to me that people hear these terms and ideas but have no idea what they're talking about or what Bristol is in comparison to the rest of the country.

still said...

dumb de dumb dum.

AnonymousWestconnStudent said...

regardless you can appreciate the irony that less then a decade after we eliminated the last vestiges of county government we are talking about putting them back.

God writes great irony but lousy drama.

Anonymous said...

What would realy work is combine loal board of eds.We could get ride of a lot of overhead costs in management.

Anonymous said...

Yaeh,the good ole boy's network! You mean like Councilman Cockayne trying to give city money to repair a fellow republican's car on a state run project?

Let's tax stupidity said...

"If it is so good, why wasn't it done sooner"

It doesn't matter if it was done sooner, later, faster...you'd still complain and criticize anyway. I mean, it's not like you've got something positive, constructive or fresh to add. We'd better get used to it anyway....Johnson's running for mayor (again)....whine away!

Anonymous said...

Maybe it wasn't done sooner (at all), because it won't work!

Maybe Ward is just riding on Rell's suggestion?

When did he have a thought of his own?

Anonymous said...

11:23, When did you? Seems you've got a one track mind.

Anonymous said...

"do you mean the a kind of conflict like Ward voting on police contract when his son is a cop?"

Nice dad, he increased his son's prescription drug copay by 700%, mandated drug testing, increased medical copay and gave him raises well below inflation. With dads like that...

Anonymous said...

"Morris Laviero, a public works commissioner"

... is a major construction subcontractor for the city. Every time a piece of city construction equipment goes unrepaired it increases the chances that Laviero will get more work. He should not be on that board.

Anonymous said...

I have personally suggested over $200,000 in possible savings to Ward: no response, no action!!!!

Anonymous said...

whats wrong with helping an old buddie get his car fixed at the tax payers expense 825 ?

Love a good laugh said...

"I have personally suggested over $200,000 in possible savings to Ward"

Oh well then! Why didn't you say so...I mean, if YOU suggested something, I'm sure we should implement it immediately! Maybe you should consider contacting Obama too. I'm sure he'd appreciate your input immensely...

Well aren't we special said...

Hey 3:17, I know exactly what you mean. I personally suggested to Ward that we catch a leprechaun and steal his pot of gold: no response, no action!!!! The nerve of that man! ;0)

no believer said...

3:17 - aren't you a taxpayer? put it in writing so that we can all see it or is it so transparent that it feels like waxed paper?

cover, cover, cover said...

2:08 - c'mon ken, get with some real issues instead of all of this wishy-washy stuff or are the bruises from the COO farce still too new?

Anonymous said...

2:32 poster,

Nice try but you should look at what US, in the real world have for benefits.
Then you can cry all you want!

Anonymous said...

7:21

I did SEND them to Ward.

However, if you post your name and address, I will send them to you and we'll see if you, since you are close to him, have any better luck.

Anonymous said...

Shoot, we don't even share between departments.

How are we going to share between towns?