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Last year was historic in terms of the city meeting with surrounding communities. It held joint meetings with Janesville, the Town of Beloit and Town of Turtle.

Officials from the area municipalities looked at ways in which they can collaborate to save money. The most popular idea was joint purchasing.

Council members and town officials believe purchasing items, such as building material, could save a significant amount of money.

Another popular idea was shared services. The city and the Town of Beloit talked about establishing a “closest station” approach for emergency services.

Just as the name suggests, during a fire the closest station would respond whether it was in the city or town.

Arft said residents should see more collaboration efforts take shape this year. The city and the Town of Turtle will soon get together to discuss an extension of the boundary agreement already in place.

Officials wanted to meet before the end of the year, but staff was still working on its proposal and simply ran out of time.

“We’re trying to put together an idea of what the parameters would be on a number of issues that will be discussed,” he said. “We’ve got a meeting with the negotiating team this week, and once we get that packet together we’ll be reaching out to the town.”

The public will have its input and several town hall meetings will be held prior reaching an agreement, Arft said.

Excerpted from an article in the Beloit Daily News which appeared on January 7, 2013.

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