Local governments try to cut costs via efficiency
MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) -- Around the country, governments big and small are embracing cooperation, consolidation and efficiency to wring a few more dollars out of the budget as the effects of the Great Recession linger.
In some places, it's as simple as pulling the plug on thousands of unused telephone lines or installing software that automatically shuts off idle school computers to save on electricity.
Other local governments are consolidating 911 centers, merging fire departments or outsourcing such tasks as the collecting of parking fines.
Earlier this year, Long Island's two counties and several townships joined forces to buy such things as ambulance supplies and chemicals for swimming pools. They expect to save more than $1 million a year.