Shelton to aid Derby with tax collector, building department services

Exterior of Shelton City Hall, in Shelton, Conn. Jan. 11, 2021.

Exterior of Shelton City Hall, in Shelton, Conn. Jan. 11, 2021.

Ned Gerard / Hearst Connecticut Media

SHELTON — City leaders are once again offering neighboring Derby a helping hand.

The city will be handling tax collector and building department services for the city of Derby beginning as soon as next month. The Board of Aldermen approved the plans earlier this month — moves that Mayor Mark Lauretti said will have no impact on city residents but offer needed assistance to Derby.

“It doesn’t hurt us, and it helps them out,” Lauretti said about the latest shared service agreement with Derby. “Derby is trying to save money and cut costs … I applaud that.”

Derby Chief of Staff Andrew Baklik said his city has vacancies in key tax collector and building department roles, “so it was the perfect time to explore regional shared services.

“Both cities believe efficiencies can be gained and taxpayer dollars can be saved without compromising the services offered to residents,” Baklik said.

Baklik said the building official agreement is signed and ready to be implemented in June; the tax collector agreement has not yet been finalized or considered by the respective Boards of Aldermen.

Shelton Finance Director Paul Hiller said the city has budgeted for some $80,000 more in wages for the fiscal year because of increased time from city staff. There will likely be additional part-time employees brought into both departments, Hiller said.

Hiller said the city estimates receiving $115,000 from Derby for the tax collector and building department services. The city already receives $52,500 for its handling of Derby’s animal control needs. The city has handled the animal control needs for both communities for several years.

For Derby residents, there will be no impact, says Baklik.

"Services will be rendered as they always have been,” he added.

The same holds true for Shelton residents, Lauretti said.

Baklik said the agreement between the two municipalities regarding animal control was proof that shared services can be beneficial.

“When anyone in Derby City Hall receives an animal related complaint,” Baklik said, “we simply refer them to Shelton Animal Control and that is the last we hear of the matter. With limited resources and bandwidth in Derby, this arrangement has worked perfectly for years.”