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Mayor: Hard look at services needed to spare taxpayers

Mayor Gabriel J. Campana said he must evaluate professional services to save money in the year ahead.

Such services under microscope will be health insurance cooperative, insurance brokerage firms, consulting companies, legal advisers and construction management teams.

“It has been a few years since we have done so and to provide additional transparency,” Campana said.

Health insurance costs are jumping by 7 percent, he said. This is occurring despite the city remaining with Benecon, a healthcare cooperative company, adding the city into a conglomerate of municipalities it serves to ensure cost containment.

“Without Benecon, the health care premiums would have been 50 to 70 percent higher,” Campana said.

The administration’s professional services evaluations will be done on economic development consulting firms such as Penn Strategies and Delta Development, Campana said.

“Once the services agreements are over these contracts will be put out to bid,” Campana said.

Any services agreements for work at Bowman Field and City Hall also will be evaluated, Campana said.

“There will be no more open-ended contracts such as in construction management,” Campana said.

Campana said he is in the process of getting appraisal on Elm Park for potential sale.

“The problem is that deed covenants keep the park for strictly recreational purposes,” he said.

The mayor said he will continue to work on developments in the East Third Street/Old City Gateway Project, such as filling of vacant lots at East Third and Mulberry streets.

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