WESTBROOK – There are plans in the works for Westbrook to outsource its rescue collection services to the town of Gorham in an effort to save money.

The City Council gave a first reading to the proposal at its meeting on Monday, Nov. 22. A second reading is needed before final approval.

The agreement has to go before the Gorham Town Council on Dec. 7 before its approval as well, according to Gorham Town Manager David Cole.

The arrangement is a “win-win” for both communities because Westbrook will save money while Gorham will bring in added revenue, Cole said.

“We think we can implement this and do it quite effectively,” he said.

Westbrook City Administrator Jerre Bryant said the city continues to explore private and public options for outsourcing operations. Other examples include the outsourcing of assessing to South Portland and welfare to Westbrook Housing, he said.

The partnership with Gorham represented the best situation for the city, Bryant said. He said Westbrook Fire and Rescue will continue to handle its own calls for service, but the billing for those services will be handled through Gorham.

The agreement costs Westbrook a one-time fee of $1,500 and an ongoing cost of $17 per rescue run. Based on the annual number of rescue runs in Westbrook, outsourcing to Gorham will cost $31,250, according to Bryant.

When compared to the $47,044 the city has spent this year in-house, the deal totals nearly $16,000 in annual savings for Westbrook.

The city sought proposals from both private companies and other municipalities, and the Gorham offer made the most sense, Bryant said.

Cole said the two communities share fire equipment and have a strong working relationship. This agreement just furthers that cooperation, he said.

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