The Haddonfield Board of Commissioners this week agreed to participate in a shared services pact with six other Camden County towns.
Audubon, Collingswood, Haddonfield, Haddon Heights, Haddon Township, Mount Ephraim and Oaklyn have formed an alliance to look at shared services and as a first measure have agreed to share a construction code official in the event of emergencies, according to a news release The group will also lend public works vehicles and equipment to each other.
The deal does not include police services. Representatives from each town will formally sign the agreement on Sept. 4, at 4 p.m., at the Haddonfield Municipal Hall.
"This is just the first initiative," Haddonfield Mayor Tish Colombi said. "We will continue to look at ways that we can work together to see how we can run things more efficiently.
"There's great potential, for example, in seeing if road projects overlap or splitting the cost of an employee that several towns may only need part-time."
Officials have exchanged master lists of all municipal vehicles and public works equipment to share equipment and plan infrastructure projects without having to purchase expensive new vehicles. Each town will introduce a resolution to authorize an interlocal service agreement between them.
"We started talking about how we can cut costs by sharing," Collingswood Mayor Jim Maley said. "It became clear that many of our needs were overlapping and it made sense to work together to reduce our costs. If we continue to study how we can plan projects by considering a group of towns, we can start to see a significant savings for our residents."
These towns already have several unofficial shared service agreements with each other that allow them to partner for tasks, rather than purchasing items or hiring new staff at additional cost. Municipal courts, fire service and trash collection are all examples of costs shared between some of these communities.