County's task force looks at potential regionalization of
lower tier services
Simcoe County's Regional Government Review - Service Delivery Task
Force has picked up where the provincial government's abandoned review
left off last fall, presenting council with a series of recommendations
that could regionalize water, wastewater, planning, fire and library
The committee, chaired by Wasaga Beach mayor Nina Bifolchi, and
includes Essa mayor Sandie Macdonald, was struck last spring to
coincide with the Ford government's then regional government review,
which it ended without any imposed changes.
Despite its conclusion, the County kept the task force active and it
met Dec. 16, 2019. At the time, Ms. Bifolchi told Free Press Online via
email the committee's role remained legitimate "because we believe
there are still service delivery efficiencies to
identify for the County of Simcoe and its lower-tier member
"Exactly what those efficiencies could be is what we are now
considering," she told Free Press Online. "Anything we identify would
be a made in Simcoe County approach rather
than something imposed upon us by the province. In that regard, this is
a unique opportunity for us and not a duplication of any exercise the
Below are the recommendations County councillors will be asked to
support on January 14.
Conservation Authorities: In regards to municipal
and resident concerns with respect to conservation authority services,
that the Honourable Jeff Yurek Minister of the Environment and
Conservation, and the Honourable Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal
Affairs and Housing be requested to respond by advising on the Province
of Ontario's intent, scope and timeline of their review relating to the
services delivered by the Conservation Authorities.
Fire Services: That the County engage a third party
consultant to conduct a comprehensive review of Fire Services in Simcoe
County, identifying possible efficiencies and preferred Service
Delivery models including regional or sub-regional service models.
Land Use Planning: That the County engage a third
party consultant to conduct a comprehensive review identifying
efficiencies and potential streamlining of processes with respect to
land use planning services and approvals performed by the County and
its member municipal partners.
Library Services: That the County engage a third
party consultant to conduct a comprehensive structure and
administrative review for efficiencies and coordination for the
delivery of Library Services across the County and its member
Storm Water Management: That the County engage the
lower tier municipalities to gain a greater understanding of the issues
and challenges they face regarding storm water management, and what if
anything the County of Simcoe could do to assist in this regard.
Legal Services: That the County engage the lower
tier municipalities to gain a greater understanding of the potential
efficiencies or opportunities in coordinating legal services.
Transit: That the County engage the local
municipalities with respect to transit and transit related services
seeking opportunities for coordination and efficiencies, with the input
and findings potentially creating the content for a regional transit
Water and Wastewater: That the County engage the
local municipalities to conduct an update of the Water and Wastewater
Visioning strategy, seeking local input on the current service
challenges, capacity, potential opportunities on coordination, and any
opinions on the potential roles of the County of Simcoe in this regard.
Funding Sources: That the third party reviews as
recommended by the Regional Government Review Service Delivery Task
Force be drawn from the Municipal Modernization and Efficiencies
funding, and future funding application opportunities as may be
presented by the Province of Ontario.
New Tecumseth council meets Monday for the first time since Dec. 23.