ELORA – Centre Wellington councillors got their first look at the Wellington County and Member Municipalities Service Review Final Report from KPMG on Dec. 16.
KPMG worked with Wellington CAOs to identify the top 20 services that could examined across all member municipalities for additional cost savings.
“The intent is that the local CAOs from all the municipalities and the county will start working more towards looking at each of those 20 different priorities or service reviews,” said Centre Wellington CAO Andy Goldie.
“Although there are 20 recommendations for all seven municipalities in the county that does not mean that every one of those recommendations will be a priority for each of the municipalities.”
There could be any combinations of municipalities working together.
Councillors Kirk McElwain and Bob Foster asked why Centre Wellington is putting money into a new operations centre when the report states that municipalities should be working together to share such resources.
“Effectively this report contradicts our own budget,” Foster said. The budget was also passed at the Dec. 16 meeting.
“Our own budget is advocating for a new operations centre. This report is advocating that we share one or at least look to collaborating with the other municipalities. Can you explain that discrepancy?”
Goldie said the township had already had a conversation with the county about the new operations centre proposed in Centre Wellington.
“They are looking to partner with Erin at this stage and they just completed one in Mapleton but those locations geographically work for the county and the local municipality,” Goldie said.
Partnering with the county is not an option for Centre Wellington, which is expected to nearly double in population in a couple of decades, he added.
“Most of the other municipalities are not growing at the speed that we’re growing and do not have the forecasted growth that we are having to meet,” Goldie said.
“So therefore their priorities with regards to … services … are different than ours as well as the county’s.”
However, Goldie did say the township may partner with the county for some road plowing.
Mayor Kelly Linton explained the KPMG report was completed through provincial funding.
“One of the areas that the province wanted us to look at was finding internal efficiencies so the scope of this project is very much along the lines of what the province wanted us to do,” Linton said. “A lot of the things that have come out, the recommendations that are high level right now, it’s about asking the right questions right now.”
He also stressed the report is an operational review.
“That’s why the CAOs were involved,” Linton said. “It doesn’t touch governance, it doesn’t touch anything like that. It’s strictly operational. How can we do what we do more effectively.”
The Dec. 16 report also asked council to pass a resolution supporting the submission of a multi-party expression of interested for a proposed third party IT service delivery review project along with Wellington North, Minto, Mapleton, Puslinch, Guelph-Eramosa and the county.
Council supported the IT review with only Foster opposed.