/No organizational review in budget 

No organizational review in budget 

By Chad Ingram 

Published March 21, 2019 

organizational review of the Township of Minden Hills will not be
included in the township’s 2019 budget, despite the pleas of one member
of council. 
Township councillors held
their third round of budget discussions during a March 14 meeting, where
Councillor Pam Sayne made repeated requests that money for an
organizational review be included in this year’s budget. 
reviews, typically conducted by a third-party consultant, assess the
structure of a municipality including staffing, seeking out
efficiencies, etc. 
“We’ve got to do
this, we’ve been putting this off for too long,” said Sayne, who’s made
calls in the past for the township to have an organizational review
Sayne noted that the
township’s new arena, which is scheduled to be completed by fall of
2020, would require an increase in staffing, and that as such, it seemed
a logical time to conduct a review. 
“It’s kind of like if someone has never worn shoes before, they don’t know how much they need them,” Sayne said. 
Brent Devolin said it was likely that some time in 2019 there would be a
conversation at the Haliburton County council table regarding increased
co-operation between the county’s four lower-tier townships, and that
depending on the outcome of that conversation, it would make more sense
to leave any organizational review until 2020. 
respect your opinion . . . you’ve been unwavering in it, over a number
of years,” Devolin said. Other members of council felt pursuing an
organizational review this year was premature. 
was successful at getting a $5,000 contribution to Whitewater Ontario
included in the draft budget. Back in January, reps from Whitewater
Ontario, which operates the Minden Wild Water Preserve, made a
delegation to council, requesting a $5,000 contribution, partially to
offset water release charges from Parks Canada, which operate the dam
near the site, and partially for legacy signage on the township-owned
side of the river. 
“I find it
embarrassing we can’t give $5,000 … with all the other things that
we’re doing regarding recreation,” Sayne said, in what appeared to be a
reference to the arena project which is expected to cost $12.9 million. 
members of council, including Devolin, said they were comfortable
putting $5,000 in the draft budget for Whitewater Ontario. 
also appears that Minden Hills will accrue a surplus for 2018. Earlier
in the budget process, council deferred $1 million worth of roads
projects to 2020 discussions, including a $400,000 refurbishing of the
Sunnybrook bridge in Minden’s downtown. 
I don’t always like to see big surpluses, at the end of the day, they
help with these situations,” said treasurer and chief administrative
officer Lorrie Blanchard, explaining the surplus could be used toward
the bridge project, or elsewhere. 
“If Sunnybrook bridge is the priority of council, there’s going to be a way to do that,” Blanchard said. 
draft budget included a seven per cent increase in the tax levy,
equating to a residential tax rate increase of just under five per cent.
However, changes to the budget are still to come. 
The next draft will be presented at a public meeting on March 28.