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City-County Parks Consolidation in Buffalo on the Rocks

While there may be cost savings associated with agency consolidations, this doesn’t mean they are successful. Case in point may soon be an ending to an agreement whereby Buffalo, New York’s parks were signed over to the county for management, as there has been friction between the city and county on maintenance levels and other issues. According to the Buffalo News:

When the parks deal was hatched four years ago, it was hailed as a major step toward spurring city-county consolidations. But neither side has been satisfied with the way the parks agreement has panned out. County officials have complained that the $1.8 million the city pays for parks maintenance has never covered the true costs. City officials have grumbled about shoddy maintenance … especially in neighborhood pocket parks and playgrounds. Buffalo’s public works commissioner said it’s premature to say whether the parks agreement will end next year. “We’ve been working on both scenarios … what to do if a deal can be struck with the county, and what we would do without the county,” said Steven J. Stepniak.

The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy is under another contract with the county to maintain historic parks in the city. According to the article, officials believe the Conservancy has done a good job — and they are concerned about the parks not under control of the nonprofit, particularly small neighborhood parks.

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