Michael J. Sorba, Staff Writer
Posted: 07/27/2010 07:35:08 PM PDT

COLTON – At least two City Council members say they’d like to see the city send out requests seeking the exact costs to outsource for police and fire services, following the results of recently completed audits of both departments.

They would also like the city to contact surrounding jurisdictions to examine the viability of forming a joint powers agreement for fire services.

The audits estimate the city could save between $2.3 million and $8.2 million if the council decided to contract for public safety services or form a joint agreement. The council members say they’d like concrete numbers for the cost to contract.

“I think at this point we tell the city manager to entertain the possibility of contracting by seeking requests and asking these other agencies to come to the city and give us presentations on their services,” Councilman David Toro said.

“We need to have complete and accurate information. The best way to get complete and accurate information is going out and requesting different proposals from the agencies to make sure it’s viable for the city.”

Councilman Richard DeLaRosa said the council needs to follow through with the audit’s findings.

“It’s important that we look at the other agencies to see if they can provide the same level of service for a lesser amount (of money),” DeLaRosa said.

Councilman Alex Perez doesn’t support the idea of contracting for public safety. He’s more concerned with cost-saving strategies the audits suggest as well as those he expects department chiefs to present.

“I don’t think I’m inclined to contract our services,” Perez said. “I’ve talked to a lot of people who do not want to lose the police and the fire. There’s other tangibles besides just money costs, that’s what I’ll be working toward.”

The audits also suggest a number of strategies to cut costs, streamline operations and improve the efficiency of each department.

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