WILMINGTON, DE - With a reported $800 million budget shortfall, consolidation of government departments, including fleet, has been put on the table as a way to become more cost-effective, according to The News Journal.

Officials are looking to counties who have already merged governments and combined functions as an example of how the process would work.

Fleet maintenance in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County was combined last year, in addition to other merged functions such as water, sewer and wastewater service, and 911 communications. The fleet merger is expected to save $1.5 million over three years.

New Castle County Executive Chris Coons, who significantly reduced the county's vehicle fleet during his first term in office, said fleet consolidation between the county and towns could be worth pursuing. However, he said no discussions have taken place.

"It makes a lot more sense to share heavy equipment across local governments," Coons told the Journal.

The state also is looking at the possibility of consolidating some of its 19 school districts, a proposal that potentially could save millions in salaries and streamline services such as purchasing and human resources, reported the Journal.

Earlier this month, Governor Markell announced he would dissolve the Department of Finance to shrink state government, reported the Journal. The duties of that department would be spread across other agencies. No layoffs are expected, although jobs would be eliminated through attrition as services are consolidated, according to the Journal.