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Parma shares in $100,000 grant to consolidate services

December 14, 2012

Contact: Jeannie Roberts (440) 885-8181/(216) 346-9935 

PARMA, Ohio – The City of Parma, in conjunction with five other Northeast Ohio counties and nonprofit broadband provider OneCommunity, has won a $100,000 grant from the State of Ohio’s Local Government Innovation Fund to help facilitate shared services among government entities.

The five other counties that will benefit from the grant are Stark, Cuyahoga, Erie, Medina and Trumbull.

The grant will fund a network readiness assessment to evaluate each partner’s broadband network infrastructure and ensure that each is prepared to offer and receive shared services.

“This is another great example of regional collaboration, and one that is very important to us, because one of our highest priorities is staying connected with residents and improving our available technology,” said Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter.

“Service consolidation is a key tool for governments to cut costs and operate more efficiently,” said Scot Rourke, president and CEO of OneCommunity. “Through OneCommunity’s highspeed, fiber-optic broadband network, these governmental bodies will be able to implement a wide range of common services, from shared financial, public safety, and geographic information systems to voice over Internet protocol [VoIP]. Broadband-enabled shared services also offer the opportunity for each county to become both a regional shared-services provider and recipient.”

As part of the network readiness assessment, Cleveland-based OneCommunity will provide partners with technical assistance, research, project management and subject matter expertise, as well as helping to identify methodologies that will make the process scalable and replicable for other Ohio counties. OneCommunity owns and operates a fiber-optic broadband network that runs more than 1,700 miles through Northeast Ohio, connecting 2,300 nonprofit public sites.

The network readiness assessment was one of 39 projects recently approved for funding by the Local Government Innovation Fund (LGIF), which awarded more than $2.7 million in grants and $1.1 million in loans to Ohio communities. The LGIF provides this financial assistance to encourage collaboration, shared services and efficiency at the local level to reduce the cost of community services and provide a foundation for fiscal sustainability.