For years the Village of Morton Grove has used their own snow plow
equipment to clean up the village owned parking lots so that residents,
commuters, patrons and business employees have a safe place to park.
Although this task has always been rooted in the guidelines of what the
Public Works Department has to accomplish during a winter snow fall, it
is not until recently that they have considered the possibility of
contracting this work out for a lower price than what it may cost
internally. Even though the idea of using outside resources to fulfill
local duties is nothing new in local government, it is still up to the
community to do their research on what they are asking an external
contractor to do as well as what they can expect to be charged for these
types of services.
Part of this researching process has forced the village to lean on
their Geographic Information System (GIS) Department for the creation of
maps and square footage figures for each parking lot that the village
currently plows. Subsequently, what could normally take multiple hours
of field measurements by numerous village employees, can now be
generated in a matter of minutes using the existing data stored within
GIS. After each parking lot is located, it is only a matter of creating
overview maps for each parking lot with labels detailing the amount of
square footage that would need to be plowed the contractor. These maps
not only give a good geographic view of each lot, they can also help the
internal staff with their decision making process regarding whether or
not they want to move ahead with the contractual bidding process.