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City-County collaboration saves more than $30 million

The cash-strapped City of Chicago and Cook County have so far saved $33.4 million through an effort to combine resources and eliminate redundancies, according to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s office Monday.

The city-county collaboration was unveiled in June of 2011 and identified ways the two municipalities could save up to $140 million annually. The savings announced Monday put the initiative halfway to its initial goal of cutting costs by at least $66 million by 2014, Preckwinkle’s news statement said.

The announcement comes as county officials seek to close an expected budget gap of $267.5 million.

“We are energized by the numbers we’ve achieved,” Preckwinkle said in a statement. “Today’s results show that the collaboration is on target to reach, and likely surpass, our initial goals.”

City officials are expected to release a preliminary budget this month that will outline the city’s own budget deficit.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel touted the collaboration’s savings as good news for taxpayers.

“It is essential to look after every cent of taxpayer money and to make sure we are finding efficiency throughout government,” Emanuel said in a statement.

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