10 Networks Northwest
Shared Government Center
Shared Services Name
Shared Government Center
Revenues (less partner contributions)
By the early 2000s, the Village of Elk Rapids and Elk Rapids Township had outgrown their existing administration facilities, which were at two separate addresses.
The Village Council, in its 2001 "Intergovernmental Cooperation Resolution," approved the exploration of constructing a joint Village/Township governmental administrative and public meeting facility. I
n considering options for constructing this new facility, the two entities
created the Elk Rapids Township and Village Joint Building Authority.
In April 2003, the Village, Township, and the Building Authority entered into a construction agreement for the proposed $1,997,000 facility, with the Village's portion at $996,000. Construction started in May.
In July and August 2003, the Village and Township transferred the property to the Elk Rapids Township and Village Joint Building Authority. On March 9, 2004, the Village and Township entered into a lease agreement with the Joint Building Authority.
The Village was able to finance its portion of the building without bonding via a series of loans from various budget funds, to be paid back with interest, over a period of 20 years.
Because the Village and Township entered this shared service agreement prior to investigating the costs of constructing separate facilities, it is difficult to estimate a cost savings for this project - especially because the facility costs are split nearly evenly.
The project budget lists $69,000 in professional services costs, which likely would have been incurred by each entity had they pursued separate structures - resulting in a savings of $34,500 for each entity.
It is also likely that each entity saved a considerable amount by partnering to purchase the telecommunications and computer cabling systems in the facility. Budget items such as telephone/computer cabling connections and conduit to the police and fire departments totaled approximately $51,000. The Village portion of these costs was just over $24,500 - resulting in a savings of approximately $27,000.
Of course, these estimates do not reflect the other cost sharing that occurs by having the Village and Township under the same roof. The two entities share office equipment such as copiers, some printers, and a postage machine. Also shared is a kitchen, restrooms, and storage space. The cost of this shared equipment and space could easily amount to $150,000 when considering construction and equipment purchase costs.
In addition to the cost savings benefits, the shared government center:
Creates a one-stop-shop for Village and Township residents who have questions and are not sure which entity has jurisdiction;
Fosters the collaborative relationship between the Township and Village;
Centrally located in a single government "plaza" with the Township Fire and EMS and Village Police offices; and
Occupies a formerly vacant parcel, while the former Village and Township administrative facilities are now home to a business and nonprofit - both within the Village limits.
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