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HR merger may yield budget savings for Wausau


WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) – If Wausau is looking for a way to save money in next year's budget, it may want to keep pursuing a merger of its human resources department with Marathon County.

A consultant recommended the joint department this spring. Leaders from both sides have been meeting to figure out how the department would be run and when it would begin operating.

Mayor Jim Tipple admits the merger would lead to minimal savings at best. But he says the greatest benefit would be consolidating the strength of the city and county's bargaining power, especially when it comes to health care.

The merger would also help both sides control rising payroll costs and do the same work more efficiently.

But the merger will not happen January 1 as some had expected.

“I would rather have it done right and be pushed further in the future than to have it slammed in and then we pick up the pieces later,” Tipple said.

Both sides agreed to consider the idea after Wausau's human resources director retired in 2008. The city and county have operated a joint department before but abandoned it 20 years ago in favor of separate agencies.