Mapleton, Guelph/Eramosa to share chief building official

MAPLETON – Township council has agreed to share a chief building official with Guelph/Eramosa.

“As you are aware, the Township of Mapleton is need of services provided by a chief building official (CBO),” states a staff report from CAO Manny Baron presented at the July 12 council meeting.

“In keeping with our goal to realize efficiencies, we began discussions with Guelph/Eramosa with the goal of lowering costs to our builders as well as find savings for both municipalities.

“After several meetings, we were able to agree on a shared services agreement.”

In response to an inquiry from the Advertiser, Baron confirmed former CBO Patty Wright is no longer employed with the township as of May 16.

Baron declined to provide any further details, stating in an email, “we do not talk about HR issues.”

At the July 12 meeting, Baron told council the shared services plan evolved from discussions with CAOs of Wellington County’s other member municipalities.

“Keeping in line with the direction from council to staff to try to find efficiencies and savings, every other week we have CAO calls amongst the seven municipalities and we asked whether somebody in one of the municipalities would be interested in sharing services and it turns out that Guelph/Eramosa was interested,” Baron explained.

Baron said the move to a shared CBO will result in cost savings “to the tune of just under $70,000.

“And I guess, being in a position that we’ve been in for the last month or so, it also encouraged us to quickly to find efficiencies,” including the implementation of Cloudpermit software which facilitates online building permit applications.

“So all those things that we’re implementing in a very short timeframe allows us to be able to share a CBO and offer great service to both municipalities at a fairly deep discount to both municipalities as well,” said Baron.

Councillor Marlene Ottens asked how far along the township is with the implementation of the new software system.

“We’re in a training stage right now,” Baron replied.

“So I anticipate in about another four weeks or so we will probably go live with Cloudpermit, barring any circumstances out of our control, but it’s kind of a six-to-eight-week implementation.”

Baron noted about 60 per cent of Ontario municipalities use the system.

“Guelph/Eramosa uses it and various municipalities within the county use it as well,” he said.

“The bigger municipalities use a different system. But when we phoned around to other municipalities and other CBOs … and building departments, from small municipalities, they’re all very familiar with, and most of them use Cloudpermit.”

Mayor Gregg Davidson thanked Baron “for being on this and looking for, not only the efficiencies, but a way we can move our building department forward in a rather short time,”

“We’re saving just under $70,000 a year … which is fantastic,” said Davidson.

“The efficiency of using Cloudpermit is going to make it easier for all of our residents. And I know that we probably could have this years ago, but we haven’t. But now we’re going to have that.”

Council accepted the report as information and directed the mayor and clerk to execute the agreement with Guelph/Eramosa.

Baron confirmed Guelph/Eramosa CBO Dan Sharina has been appointed as Mapleton’s CBO.