The big news out of Monday’s joint meeting of Saline City Council and Saline Board of Education is the formation of an ad hoc committee to study the consolidation of the city’s Parks and Recreation department and school district’s Community Education department.
There are two Plante Moran recommendations being considered: Functional consolidation and full consolidation.
Under functional consolidation, Parks and Recreation and Community Education would continue to manage the programs and facilities they already do. However they would coordinate and merge websites, program guides, registration and databases. According to the Plante Moran report, this would give the customer one point of access to both departments' programs. It would also create room for cross promotion, better utilize instructors and resources, and improve collaboration on programs.
But what functional consolidation will not do is change the financial situation for the city's Rec Center. City leaders are looking for alternatives to paying $150,000 a year out of the general fund to subsidize the center.
The full consolidation option does save money – though it’s not clear for whom. Full consolidation eliminates 3 of the 17 full time jobs in the two departments, saving about $200,000 annually.
Here are more details about the full consolidation option:
· Eliminating one director’s position and creating support services administrator/chief financial officer.
· Reducing facility support from 4 to 3 fulltime workers.
· Registration, publications and website maintenance would become the function of a support specialist.
· Five program administrator positions would be established in the following areas: Aquatics, recreation (and enrichment), culture and arts, before and after school care, and Pooh Corner.
· Two fulltime program assistants would be responsible for supporting all five program administrators.