November 5, 2010
Exploring Further Efficiencies
As part of developing funding reductions for FY11, maintenance services of library and recreation facilities was consolidated under the Real Estate Services (RES) Department. An important element of the cost reduction strategy was outsourcing these services to private vendors, with projected savings of more than $1 million during the first year of the vendor contracts.
As a result of this consolidation, RES is responsible for the maintenance of 3.45 million square feet of facilities. Currently, RES is using two distinct business models to provide maintenances services. Approximately 78% of this total space is maintained by vendors. The remaining 22% of facility space is maintained by a combination of RES staff and vendor contracts.
Looking toward FY12 and beyond, further cost efficiencies are very likely to be gained by operating only one business model for facility maintenance, rather than two distinctly different approaches. Therefore, consistent with the County’s ongoing initiatives to reshape and redesign Mecklenburg County to fit our current reality, RES is exploring the cost-efficiency of outsourcing the maintenance for the remaining 22% of facility space that is not completely outsourced. RES will do this by issuing Requests for Proposals (RFPs). If proposals from vendors prove to be cost effective, RES would request that a contract be awarded to the low bidder in February 2011, with a start date of mid-March for the contracted services. This would result in a reduction-in-force (RIF) in RES, affecting ten currently filled positions. However, the actual employee impact would not be known until next spring following the development of a RIF plan, which is subject to approval by the County Manager.
Board members with questions should contact Real Estate Service Director Mark Hahn at 704-336-5483 or email.
Changes in Fire Services
Effective June 30, 20011, the Newell Volunteer Fire Department will retire from service and terminate its contract with Mecklenburg County after nearly 60 years of service. The Newell VFD leaves a long history of outstanding fire and rescue service to the residents of the Newell community and Mecklenburg County.
This retirement will create the need to explore limited options to provide fire and rescue services in this area. The Charlotte Fire Department has fire stations in close proximity to this area and is the most logical choice, although the funding could change significantly.
Newell VFD serves approximately 1,210 residential properties and 35 businesses. For FY11, Mecklenburg County provided Newell VFD $137,500 in funding.
In December, Board members will receive a briefing on this matter as well as future funding options and service choices. The report also will include an update on the Fire Services Assessment regarding volunteer fire services in Mecklenburg County.
Board members with questions should contact General Manager Bobbie Shields at 704-336-2606 or email.
Internal Audit Reports
One of the changes being implemented this fiscal year is a new protocol for disseminating internal audit reports to the Board and to the Audit Review Committee (ARC). One of the objectives of this protocol is to place each completed internal audit report on the respective agendas of the Board and the ARC for review and potential discussion.
In recent weeks, prior to establishing this protocol, four internal audits were completed. These reports are for internal audits initiated at various times before the hiring of Internal Audit Director Joanne Prakapas and completed after her arrival. These four audit reports will be provided to the ARC as part of its November 16 meeting. The reports also will be distributed to the other members of the Board at the same time the reports are provided to the ARC.
Board members with questions about the protocol or the reports should contact Internal Audit Director Joanne Prakapas at 704-336-2575 or email.
-- Harry L. Jones, Sr., County Manager