For more than 25 years, two southwestern Kansas cities and a county have voluntarily divvied up responsibilities and administrative space to stretch resources as far as possible without compromising public safety or services.
“We have a joint city/county GIS department that's funded equally between the two governments,” says Garden City Engineer Steve Cottrell. “GIS staff members are Finney County employees, but their office is in our administrative center.”
Other interlocal co-locations include:
- Garden City community development and inspection employees serve Finney County and the City of Holcomb under contract, which is renewed annually.
- Garden City's police department and the county's sheriff's office are housed in the same building, which the county owns. Garden City handles 911 and dispatch for both the county and City of Holcomb, under a three-year contract cycle.
- The county owns and operates the jail because neither city has holding cells.
- Garden City's fire department serves the county (and shares its fire chief with the county), and county EMS covers both cities.