NLV Saves Money, Las Vegas Makes Money Combining Services - 8 News NOW

NLV Saves Money, Las Vegas Makes Money Combining Services

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LAS VEGAS -- The city of North Las Vegas is scrambling to pay its bills.

City leaders have been taking money from the water and sewer fund for years to fix its budget problems, but now, state law is putting a stop to that.

In an effort for both North Las Vegas and the city of Las Vegas to save money, the two cities have combined some services.

During Wednesday's Las Vegas City Council meeting, city leaders found out those combined services have not just saved money, but the cities have actually made money.

Now, plans are being made to work together even more and hopefully save even more.

The possibilities range from combining services for parks and libraries to animal control, even fire services.

"We're very hopeful. Extremely optimistic that there are going to be opportunities, I'm sure of it in fact," interim city manager for North Las Vegas Jeff Buchanan said.

Last year, North Las Vegas moved its inmates and staff from its jail, which city leaders closed, to the Las Vegas Detention Center.

That move saved North Las Vegas between $11 million to $15 million a year. For Las Vegas, the change made the city an extra $7 million, leading to new jobs.

"Simultaneously, we were able to restore salaries in that area and add some positions," Las Vegas City Manager Betsy Fretwell said.

With the extra money, Las Vegas also expanded its jail by adding extra beds.

"Through these conversations, we're seeing where these partnerships can save us both a lot of money," Fretwell said.

Now, city leaders will need to work together to find out what costs they can realistically share.

"Are there some growing pains? Sure. Some obstacles? Yes, but there are learning opportunities from that," Buchanan said.

Both cities will work together to form new partnerships over the next few months and could have concrete money-saving plans for taxpayers by April.

There is another meeting Thursday to start the plans to combine services. Both city managers say agreements like the one to share services on such a large scale are rare here in the Las Vegas valley.

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