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Shared Services Initiative

2015 Progress Report

Lake County Shared Services Initiative

Collaborate and coordinate with other units of governments to generate greater economies of scale, foster partnerships and to reduce organizational costs.


The purpose of this report is to provide an update on the shared services initiatives for 2015 and identify a work plan for 2016.


During a series of community forums to obtain input into the Lake County Strategic Plan, residents identified the sharing of government services as a priority. As a result, the Lake County Collaborative Services Staff Committee was created to identify potential shared services opportunities internally with county departments and externally with other units of government.

Lake County Collaborative Services Staff Committee:

  • County Administrator's Office
  • Public Works
  • Division of Transportation
  • Finance & Administrative Services
  • Purchasing Division
  • Human Resources
  • Information Technology
  • Planning, Building & Development
  • State's Attorney's Office
  • Circuit Clerk's Office
  • Chief County Assessment Office
  • Health Department
  • Stormwater Management Commission

Report on Shared Services Initiatives in 2015

Salt Bid

The success of 2014’s salt bid led to an increase in participation by 19 for a total of 45 participating. Through this effort, approximately 65,789 tons of salt will be procured.

Permitting Software

The county awarded a contract for the implementation of a new and improved permitting software to replace the current outdated and unsupported system and to be shared among all the permitting departments (Planning, Building and Development, Health Department, Division of Transportation, Public Works and Storm Water Management Commission.) This system offers efficient, state-of-the-art permitting software that will improve operations, communications, and staff efficiencies in Lake County and its partner agencies. The new system can also be expanded to other jurisdictions for a fraction of the cost to acquire a new one. Staff is working with municipalities throughout Lake County to make them aware of the opportunity.

Hydrant Painting

The Municipal Partnering Initiative (MPI), a consortium of municipalities, bid out fire hydrant painting services. Lake County staff analyzed the MPI’s bid opportunities to see if Lake County Public Works’ (LCPW) could provide this service differently. Lake County staff compared LCPW’s current practice to the MPI pricing and found that the County’s method is more favorable due to an extended life span of the paint and compared to the MPI pricing will result in a savings of approximately $235,000 over a 10-year period.

Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators (JULIE)

Lake County Division of Transportation (LCDOT) currently has an agreement with USIC LLC for its locating services, whereas LCPW performs this service in-house. Staff researched the cost benefit of LCPW joining LCDOT on this contract for their locating needs. Due to the types of locating requests, the analysis revealed that LCPW costs to provide locating services in-house is more cost-effective than the pricing offered in the USIC contract. Also, USIC can only support 75% of the locating workload for LCPW and offers very limited liability coverage. Further research is being conducted to assess if other options are available for reducing JULIE related costs.

Environmental Consulting Services

LCPW is required by the IEPA through discharge permits, to meet lower phosphorus discharge levels from the water reclamation facilities. As a result, LCPW entered into a contract with Applied Technologies Incorporated for environmental consulting services. Since this is a requirement for all sewer treatment facilities, LCPW negotiated a rate that can be extended to other entities. LCPW is marketing this opportunity through the Des Plaines River Watershed Work Group, another collaborative effort with neighboring agencies monitoring water quality of the Des Plaines River.

Procurement Card Services

Lake County and the Lake County Forest Preserve worked collaboratively to award a contract with US Bank for procurement card services. This contract was approved in August and includes a provision for a revenue share of 1.4% with an annual rebate of $77,000 based on current procurement card expenditures.

Paper Contract

College of Lake County recently took advantage of a contract for copy paper that was competitively bid by Lake County. This was achievable because Lake County incorporates joint purchasing language in its bids which allows other units of local government to easily take advantage of competitively bid pricing.

2016 Shared Services Initiatives

As was done in 2015, subcommittees will be formed in the Shared Services group to evaluate other partnership opportunities internally as well as with agencies throughout the county. The items below are work plan initiatives for 2016.

Planning Building & Development

Plan Review Contracts

Lake County Planning Building & Development (PB&D) continues to work with intergovernmental agreement (IGA) partners including Lindenhurst, Third Lake, Round Lake Beach, and Hainesville for plan review and inspection services. In 2015, PB&D entered into new agreements with Fox Lake and Lake Zurich to assist with inspection services as well.

Permitting Software

In 2015, Lake County obtained a contract for a new land management system with Tyler Technologies. This system is a state of the art permitting, code enforcement and license tracking software. The contract contains language which allows municipalities to utilize the system at a low cost. PB&D is working with consultants on the development of a shared services work plan for outreach to Lake County municipalities and agencies on potential implementations.

Elevator Inspections

After a successful shared services initiative in 2014 with eight communities taking part in the joint bid, staff is currently working with other communities and expanding this service to other parts of the county.

911 Emergency Dispatch Task Force

In August of 2015, Lake County Chairman Aaron Lawlor convened a 911 Emergency Dispatch Task Force to continue a dialogue on increased collaboration between numerous Emergency Telephone System Boards (ETSB) and Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP) throughout the region on opportunities for potential consolidation. The Chairman established this group following his annual leadership summit in which 911 consolidations was identified as a top priority from local leaders as well as responding to further research after the Lake County ETSB undertook a feasibility study for consolidation. The Task Force is comprised of a representative group of stakeholders in neighboring communities and is tasked with studying and reporting back to the Lake County Board on opportunities for PSAP’s to enhance services and be more efficient through consolidating 911 call taking functions.

Municipal Partnering Initiative

Lake County continues to participate in the MPI and has worked to identify opportunities for partnership through joint bids in 2016. Lake County will be leading joint purchasing efforts in partnership with 11 municipalities in Lake and Cook counties on goods and services such as, asphalt, crack sealing, pavement marking and sewer lining.

Southeast Lake County Group

The County continues to meet with members of the Southeast Lake County Shared Services Group to explore opportunities for collaboration. Lake County staff is currently working to identify opportunities to improve efficiencies in inspection services through increased collaboration with group members.

Upcoming Bids to be I​ssued

Lake County will be exploring these joint purchasing opportunities with other entities:

  • Bulk Rock Salt for the 2015-2016 Snow Season
  • GIS Lidar Services
  • Bio-Solids Management
  • Body Cameras
  • Postal Metering

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