Meaford Council has given final approval to the allocation of funds from an estimated $310,800 surplus in 2020.
At their April 26 meeting, Council approved giving direction to the municipal Treasurer to transfer $80,000 to fund the upcoming Service Delivery Review Update, $30,000 to fund a market salary review, $60,000 to fund a municipal facility rationalization study, with the remaining $140,800 to be transferred to the Facilities Reserve Fund for future use in financing corporate facility updates in 2022.
The surplus is due in large part to the cancellation of public events in 2020, including the annual Canada Day festivities, reduced utility costs for municipal buildings due to reduced use during the pandemic, along with other operational savings.
“The Service Delivery Review Update will consist of a two-stage process wherein the Municipality would retain a contract employee to undertake a process mapping exercise to determine efficiencies in the delivery of services and then retain a consultant to undertake a review of the Service Delivery process that occurred and provide an independent opinion on efficiencies and the requirements to meet the demands related to the review and future growth,” staff advised in their report to Council. “A Process Mapping Exercise looks at the workflow of various tasks to ensure efficiencies. In most cases it can streamline a process which in turn benefits the customer. The deliverables resulting from this review will be a clearly presented so that the Public and Council can understand and refer back to the rationale for their decisions.”
Council was advised that the salary market review would be used to determine if the municipality is competitive with comparator municipalities.
“A third party consultant salary market review to determine if the Municipality is competitive with our comparators at the 50th percentile was scheduled for 2021. During the 2021 budget review process, the project was removed and pushed back to 2022. The last review was conducted in 2016, and best practice is to have a review completed every two years. The salary market review remains a priority item for the Municipality, and the opportunity to accelerate the process should be considered,” staff advised.
The third major project to be funded from the 2020 surplus is a municipal facility rationalization study which was first initiated in 2018, but remains incomplete.
“In December 2018, Council directed staff to conduct a facility rationalization assessment using all available facility condition information, with a report to Council by September 2019,” staff advised. “Unfortunately, other work demands derailed the completion of this in 2019. Facility and Asset Management staff were unable to complete the internally developed plan in 2020 mostly due to COVID impacts. At this time, work plans will continue to prohibit the ability for staff to complete the plan any time within the next 18-24 months.”
The facilities study would:
- Consider functional efficiency opportunities
- Address unacceptable facility conditions
- Ensure compliance with Occupational Health and Safety (OHSA) and Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)
- Reduce overall footprint through potential surplus/sale of property or demolition for redundant and/or inefficient space
- Establish best use of surplus space