Peoria Ideal Location for Combining Services and Cutting Costs

By Maggie Vespa

May 9, 2011 Updated May 10, 2011 at 2:47 PM CDT

The city of Peoria and Peoria County are in a prime position to set a cost-cutting example for the state of Illinois.

That's according to Dr. Kurt Thurmaier, director of the division of Public Administration at Northern Illinois University.

Monday Thurmaier spoke to city and county leaders about combining services to increase efficiency and cut costs.

He says Peoria is a prime Illinois-test-market for the process.

That's thanks to, among other things, newly appointed City Administrator Patrick Urich, who took the position after serving as administrator for Peoria County.

"I think Peoria thinks about itself more as a community, and then Patrick's unique position of having worked in both county and now the city government... So it is a really nice alignment in terms of expertise, understanding, and the nature of the community," Thurmaier.

Thurmaier says the practice of combining services has proven largely successful in states besides Illinois- namely, North Carolina.

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