Benefits of Membership in CRCOG
Town Specific Benefits Below
At CRCOG we are very aware that our member cities and towns are facing very tough budget times and are analyzing every budget line item in an attempt to identify cost savings. While you are going through what will be a very difficult budget year we wanted to give you a restatement of the value that every local assessment dollar to CRCOG brings back to your community. Please click the links below for a description of some of the direct benefits your town receives from CRCOG.
Dues paid to CRCOG are vital for us to operate, and are used to leverage many times their value in federal, state and other matching funds. Any reduction in our local assessment revenues would lead to a loss in matching funds and an inability to administer grant programs on which our 29 (30 towns, as of 9/22/10) member towns rely. Local assessments for the last fiscal year totaled $443,415 and represent just 15 % of CRCOG’s operating costs and less than 3% of our total budget. Yet these operating funds are leveraged many times over. Any reduction would result in a much greater reduction in our overall budget, much of which represents direct funding for our members.
Approximately $150,000 or one-third of our local funds are needed to match federal transportation planning dollars - every $1,000 reduction in CRCOG operating dollars for transportation would mean a $10,000 reduction in federal transportation planning dollars.
Studies mandated by State statutes to promote efficient transportation systems, responsible land use, preservation of land and effective economic development such as the Agricultural Viability Recommendations, Pre-Disaster Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan, and Transportation Corridor Studies were financed with grants leveraged with local assessment dollars.
CRCOG operating funds are also used to generate additional funds that provide direct benefit to the towns, including at $5.2 million under a grant from OPM, homeland security grant funds totaling $2.4 million, Urban Areas Security Initiative funds eligibility and awards of $1.97 million, $8 million in urban road project funds; $3.5 million in other transportation funds; $2.4 million in homeland security projects; and $1.2 million in federal Brownfield assessment grants.
The Capitol Region Purchasing Council conducted 17 bids in FY 2008-09, saving its 81 members over $1.4 million. In addition, continuing savings from the Natural Gas Consortium were enhanced by a market purchase of Natural Gas for FY 2010-2011 that is 22% lower than pricing for FY 2009-10. These savings will result in over $2 million in Year-to-Year savings for members of that Consortium.
The Purchasing Council also launched two new programs in 2009 to help towns save even more. The CRCOG Electricity Consortium held its first reverse auction for 13 members and over 41 million kWh in July 2009. Savings over same day market prices for the 24 month contract term are over $450,000. When compared to utility rates, the savings are even more significant.
Finally, the Purchasing Council launched a new indefinite quantity construction program in July 2009. EZIQC (EZ Indefinite Quantity Construction) is just now showing results for the towns and accurate savings numbers will be more readily available later in 2010. Anecdotal response from those towns that have used this service is that it had a slow start, but has saved the towns money and staff time for small and medium sized renovation and construction activities. Overall, the Purchasing Council members are very pleased with this program and it continues to grow.
When the towns have an issue that needs to be explored, CRCOG staff are available to address this issue in a coordinated fashion. One example is the Solid Waste Options Study project. This year, CRCOG managed and financed from its own reserves $50,000 for the assessment of solid waste options for the region, which is paving the way to create a solid waste authority that should bring lower costs and much better management to the region in the area of solid waste.
Many of the other benefits that CRCOG brings are less quantifiable, but nonetheless tangible to our members. In an era where towns are going to need to cooperate, coordinate and consider shared or consolidated services in order to deal with our coming fiscal crisis, CRCOG is a vital mechanism for advocating for and supporting our towns as a group.
While many of the CRCOG benefits are difficult to quantify, please find attached a summary of some of the specific financial benefits that have accrued directly to your town.
We appreciate your consideration of this memo and of the value of CRCOG to you in this very challenging financial environment.
For some of the specific benefits that your town has received through CRCOG, click on the link below: