Organizational Efficiencies  |  How We Save You Money
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  • Working with Volunteers. Albemarle’s department of Parks and Recreation utilizes volunteers to develop trails to open parks without increasing staffing or paid work hours. In our public safety arena, volunteer fire fighters work jointly with career personnel; the County’s auxiliary police force saved the Department $57,680.07 in 2014; and Albemarle County Sherriff’s Volunteer Reserve Division continue to offer back up support for all Sherriff Office functions, including law enforcement, court security, extraditions, and the oversight of most community programs. They are also an integral part of the Search and Rescue Unit, Project Lifesaver, and Senior TRIAD, as well as disaster relief. The group of sworn in Reserves historically is estimated to save the County’s taxpayers over $600,000 annually.
     
  • Reduction in the number of County vehicles. The county has reduced the number of non-safety County vehicles by 16 while establishing an automated pool vehicle checkout at the County office buildings at McIntire Road and 5th Street which saves staff time enabling employees whose work involves travel throughout the County to arrive at their destinations more quickly and efficiency. In December 2016, the County added 3 bicycles to the automated pool vehicle checkout system. The bicycles - donated by the police department - are cost-effective and pollution-free alternatives for short trips.
     
  • Privatization of Services. Since 2010, the general government has privatized its custodial services, saving the County $100,000 per year. 
     
  • Use of Purchasing Cards. The County school division and general government recently implemented a Purchasing Card program that provides rebates to the County on money spent on goods and services. Albemarle County received $75,000 in Purchasing Card rebates in FY 15. The Purchasing Card program also resulted in a reduction of nearly 10,000 in the number of checks that needed to be processed, printed, and sent to vendors, freeing up staff time for other tasks and saving money on stationery, printing, and postage.
     
  • Paperless Communications. The school division’s Parent Portal provides parents and students daily access to class and teacher assignments, bus routes, student meal accounts, attendance, course requests from parents and students, course schedules and syllabi, interim and quarterly progress reports and teacher recommendations. Almost 80% of our families at the secondary level are utilizing this new communication system, which improves connections to school activities while providing savings in printing and paper costs. On the general government side, the department of Community Development implemented a paperless plan review for all development plan submittals throughout the County.
     
  • Regional Services. Albemarle County participates with 10 neighboring school systems in the Piedmont Regional Education Program (PREP). The regional approach seeks to provide a high quality of services in a cost-effective manner. The fact that the state supports regional programming at a more favorable rate makes participation in this program more cost effective than if Albemarle County provided the services on its own. 
     
  • Transportation Rerouting. A comprehensive study of bus routes was completed by the school division in FY 2011 which allowed the elimination of 14 bus routes, reduced deadhead mileage, and provided significant fuel savings. New bus routes are only added as necessary due to enrollment growth. 
     
  • Energy Savings. With the 5-Year Energy Conservation Plan, the County reduced consumption within county buildings by 26% from baseline year 2005 to 2014. This is equivalent to over $1 million in energy costs. Even with an increase in energy use at the County's three main facilities since 2014, due to comfort and humidity control, as well as weather fluctuations, those same facilities have decreased baseline energy use by 23% as of October 2016. The school division and the general government have received Energy Star certification at 24 of our facilities. In order to receive Energy Star certification, buildings must perform better than 75% of similar buildings nationwide. In the Fall of 2016, the Sch9ool Division became the first public school division in the State to complete a project in which 1099 solar panels were installed at six schools. The panels will replace 22 percent of the power at the schools, saving taxpayers more than $80,000 over the life of the project. The program required no capital investment by the School Division under a new provision of state law, a Power Purchase Agreement.
     
  • Internship Program. The County actively participates in the University of Virginia’s Internship Program which provides local government experience for UVA students and results in valuable and productive work projects and outcomes for the County.
     
  • Grant funding. In FY 15, the County received over $1.4 million in grant funding to support the County’s strategic goals and core operations. 

 


 
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Contact the Department
Efficiencies
c/o County Executive's Office
401 McIntire Road
Charlottesville, VA 22902
434-296-5841
Email the Department