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Long Beach to share services with schools

The Long Beach City Council has passed a pair of resolutions to merge city and school services and create a citywide language translation and interpretation access policy.

Long Beach city officials and school board members said the pact reached Tuesday to share facilities and resources eliminates duplicate services in order to provide savings for taxpayers.

Under the agreement, the city will provide for garbage and snow removal and will meet annually to discuss future cost-cutting measures. City and school officials did not provide a savings estimate.

"This agreement is designed to result in savings for our taxpayers," City Council president Len Torres said. "We will be able to save money and offer enhanced services."

The schools and the city will share auditoriums, recreation fields and vehicles for mutual events and needs, according to the agreement. Officials will also collaborate on seeking grants and competitive bidding when purchasing supplies such as snow salt.

"This agreement creates synergies that will benefit both the city and the schools," Long Beach School Board president Darlene Tangney said.In a separate motion, the city's language access policy ensures translation and interpretation services for non-English speaking residents.

The city's policy applies to 8.3 percent of Long Beach residents with limited English proficiency.

City documents and messages will be distributed in both English and Spanish and translated to other languages as needed. Emergency alerts can also be issued in Spanish.

The city is also contracting with the Language Line phone service to translate phone conversations into multiple languages.

City officials said the city's website and its mobile response app can be translated to different languages. For information, residents can go to longbeachny.gov.

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