Counties sign new Shared Services Agreement

·2 min read

SDG – SDG Counties has a new shared services agreement with the City of Cornwall. The agreement was approved at the October 19th council meeting.

The new agreement accomplishes a lot of housekeeping items that have been issues between the two municipalities for years, cleaning up cost-sharing formulas and modernizing how the arrangement works.

The agreement better defines the roles and obligations of each municipality, the role of the liason committee, and codifies a dispute resolution mechanism.

“This agreement has been worked on for a number of years,” said Councillor Steven Byvelds (South Dundas) who is chair of the Joint Liason Committee. “The key thing to it is there is an agreement on how to deal with disputes that’s better than where we were before.”

Dispute resolution has been among the top issues between the city and counties for the past three terms of council and ultimately led to the split in jointly running its tourism promotion program.

Byvelds said that in the end the goal is to make sure residents of both municipalities were treated fairly for the services provided.

Under the SSA, Cornwall is responsible for social services like Ontario Works and ODSP, social housing, child-care services, and land ambulance services. SDG is responsible for administering the Provincial Offences Act. The original agreement dates to the late 1990s when the provincial government downloaded these responsibilities to municipalities.

“We haven’t had a really good agreement since this all started,” Byvelds told council. “[The agreement] puts everyone on a level playing field.”

The four year agreement, once approved by the City, will go into effect January 1st, 2021.

Official Plan amended for Elma development

County council approved an amendment to its official plan to allow for a former school to be converted into residential apartments.

County Council approved an amendment to SDG’s official plan to allow the former Elma Public School on County Road 7 to be re-designated as “Special Land Use District”. The owner of the building plans to convert the property to rental apartments. The property was designated as “Agricultural Resource Lands” but was considered undersized for the designation. Elma Public School closed in June 2009.

Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Leader