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TITLE:
Elements of Successful Interlocal Agreements: An Iowa Case Study

AUTHOR(S):
Kurt Thurmaier, Iowa State University

DOCUMENT TYPE: Article

This paper was presented at the Creating Collaborative Communities Conference held at Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, October 31- November 1, 2005.

ABSTRACT:

This paper explores the factors that contribute to successful interlocal agreements. Success is defined in terms of achieving agreement objectives, increasing the effectiveness of the public service, and increasing the efficiency of the public service. Influential factors of interest include the reason the interlocal agreement was created, the estimated costs and benefits of participation in the agreement, and the types and levels of communication between the parties to the agreement. The paper reports results from a survey of local governments (including cities, counties, school districts) in Iowa that have filed an agreement with the state. The sample of about 1250 respondents includes most of the major cities and counties in Iowa and many smaller governments as well. Results suggest that the most important reasons for creating agreements are to improve effectiveness and efficiency of services, and that most local governments are very satisfied with the success of the agreements.