What’s the Cost of Fire Safety in Your Community?

Posted by & filed under CGR Staff.

Paul BishopAccording to statistics from the National Fire Protection Association and the United States Fire Administration, from 1995 to 2010:

  • The number of residential building fires fell 15%.
  • The number of deaths and injuries in residential fires fell 31%. [i] [ii]
  • The number of paid firefighters increased by 30% and the number of volunteer firefighters decreased by 8%.[iii]

With the increase in dependence on paid staff, there has been an increase in cost for the fire service. From 1995 to 2008, the cost of Local Fire Protection has increased 65% to an inflation adjusted $39.7 billion.[iv] Read more »

Two Cities, Two States and a Bruising Battle for Control

Posted by & filed under CGR Staff.

Joseph StefkoWelcome to the main event!

In this corner, leaders of cities, long accustomed to controlling their destinies! And in the other corner, state governments, anxious to protect the rest of the state from the city’s crisis! It’s a battle playing out in two major communities – Michigan’s largest city and the capital of Pennsylvania – and has the potential to rewrite the book on state/local relations.

Let’s review how we got here. Read more »

From Two to One: Redrawing the Boundaries of Batavia, NY

Posted by & filed under CGR Staff.

Scott SittigIf we could redraw the map, we would never create the patchwork quilt of local governments we have now.  That’s a familiar refrain among people who observe local government—and not just in NYS.   But the opportunity for a complete overhaul of the current – inefficient – system in many states rarely comes along.  Usually, the most that can be done is to “rearrange the furniture”.

The City and Town of Batavia, NY are an exception. They are two communities reinventing themselves.  The endeavor began in 2008 when Town and City leaders launched an exploration of service sharing options. From combining highway operations to merging the police department with the County Sheriff, the municipalities looked at feasible courses of action to save money.  By the end of the study, the idea of merging into one new city had captured their imaginations. Becoming one city presented the most opportunities to streamline the local governments, cut costs, enhance services and improve the communities’ image in the region. Read more »