Upper Arlington News

'Barter' law headed for second reading Feb. 25

Proposal would formalize process for sharing equipment, services with other communities

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Upper Arlington City Council next week will consider passing an additional measure formalizing the process for sharing equipment and services with outside political subdivisions.

Council is expected to hear a second reading Feb. 25 of "barter" legislation to allow the Upper Arlington city manager to enter into contracts to loan or borrow equipment and services from and with other municipalities.

The measure received unanimous support Feb. 11, and is part of an ongoing effort by city officials to cut expenses by maximizing local and neighboring equipment and service resources.

Such practices have been encouraged by the Ohio General Assembly as local governments look for ways to maintain operations in the face of funding cuts by the state.

"It's another 'shared-services' type of ordinance," Upper Arlington City Attorney Jeanine Amid Hummer said.

Currently, Upper Arlington has agreements with Grandview Heights and Norwich Township to share some equipment and services, primarily related to municipal vehicles, such as snow plows and utility vehicles.

A previously approved ordinance authorizes the Upper Arlington city manager to enter into contracts so the city can be paid in exchange for city services or the loaning of city equipment, provided the payment "reasonably compensates the city," is approved by the city attorney and that the city manager notifies council about a contract within 30 days of entering an agreement.

The new ordinance would allow the city to enter into contracts to loan city equipment in exchange for borrowing equipment from other municipalities.

Such an arrangement wouldn't require council approval. However, it would require the city's public service director to log all equipment loans and to annually review whether the rental value of equipment borrowed "reasonably compensated the city for the rental value of equipment loaned."

Further, the proposed ordinance stipulates the borrowing municipality would be responsible for any damages to the equipment while in its use.

"Our citizens are providing the tax revenue for the equipment," Hummer said. "By using the equipment, it depreciates and you have to account for using it outside of your jurisdiction."

Council's Feb. 25 meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the Upper Arlington Municipal Services Center, 3600 Tremont Road.

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