$ave A Full-Time Position And More

Unused office supplies were gathered and redistributed as needed to save unnecessary ordering of extras. Trophies were switched from mugs to less expensive medals. Even a step as simple as changing the default to black on the color copier saved money by eliminating accidental expensive color printing

The result? In one year, a savings of $167,000!

“We set a goal,” McMillan says. “We met that goal, and we blew that goal out of the water!”

The Domino Effect

The savings equate to roughly 16,700 hours of labor–enough to keep machines running and workers mowing, and it leverages grants received by the parks from local funders such as the CS Mott Foundation.

“We found a way to keep staff in place and keep the parks in top shape so they can remain open and maintained to the standards that Genesee County residents have come to expect,” says McMillan, who gives full credit to the employees and members of the commission.

“They were proud to be part of this campaign, and every time they do something as simple as turn out the lights after leaving a room, they know they are part of its success.”

McMillan is equally proud of the economic impact of this initiative–the domino effect of a person earning a paycheck. By keeping staff employed, the members, in turn, can buy groceries and gas and school supplies for their kids. They can pay their rent or mortgage. The expenditures of those who are employed help keep others in the county employed as well.

The director’s office is now lit by energy-saving light bulbs, and McMillan turns off her computer before she goes home. And there’s one more thing: “Most of these savings will be realized permanently,” she says, “because we have changed forever how we work.”

Writer Susan Newhof lives with her husband, Paul Collins, in Montague, Mich., and is trying many of Genesee County Parks’ $10 money-saving ideas in their home.

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