Well, there may be some good news for California local governments while the economy continues to stumble along.

A recent article in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune points to discounts provided by outside, private companies that provide essential services.

From the Tribune:

By offering to renew contracts, cities are paying less for essential services, officials said. If the contractors don’t lower the price, the cities will look elsewhere, public works directors said.

“Our option is to rebid the contract,” Yauchzee said. “I think contractors realize that and they want to keep the work because having some work is better than none.”

Covina, West Covina, Rosemead, and all recently saved money by negotiating new contracts with service providers, sometimes at rates 5 percent to 10 percent less than previous contracts. In Rosemead, the city recently saved an estimated $200,000, officials said.

This comes as good news for cities that are still learning to more with less. It also allows businesses a way to stay in business and residents a method to hold their jobs.