Commission Looks At Privatization

A former Mayor of Manhattan made the statement that "the City can do it cheeper because we do not have to make a profit." This is not a true statement because private business does not buy trucks that sleep three.

Now the City of Manhattan is looking into letting private business take over many City services. At Tuesday nights meeting the Commissioners received a report on Privatization by Diane Stoddard, Assistant City Manager.

Most of the report was a copy of the "Privatization - Lessons Learned by State and Local Governments by the House Republican Task Force on Privatization.

Part of the report centered on what Indianapolis, Ind. has done with privatization. Here are a few of the items:

Wastewater Treatment: Estimated $65 million cost savings between 1994 and 1998. Estimated cost savings represent a 42 percent savings over government provision of service.

Increased capacity to treat effluent with fewer staff.

Improved effluent quality.

Better maintenance program resulted in improved equipment reliability.

Combined sewer overflows reduced by 50%.

Street Maintenance: Estimated $700,000 in cost saving between 1992 and 1996.

Estimated costsavings represented a 30-percent savings over previous costs.

Increased chuckhole crew daily productivity by 68 percent.

A 200-percent annual average increase in lane miles repaired (cracks sealed) between 1993 and 1996.

They also saved $105 million between 1995 and 2004 by privatization of the Airport.

The Manhattan City Commission wants to start looking at privatization by August.