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TBM using grant money to find municipal service efficiencies

Byway of a provincial grant, the Town of The Blue Mountains (TBM) will be hiring a third-party consultant to assess the current efficiency of its municipal services.

Byway of a provincial grant, the Town of The Blue Mountains (TBM) will be hiring a third-party consultant to assess the current efficiency of its municipal services.

In 2019, TBM applied for a grant through the Ontario Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to undertake a comparative review of municipal services.

“The TBM applied and was fortunate enough to receive $40,000 under the Municipal Modernization Program,” said Ruth Prince, director of finance and IT services for TBM. “I am recommending that this be carried out through a single source due to the tight deadline.”

TBM council gave town staff the green light to hire KPMG LLP, a Canadian audit, tax and advisory consultation company, to undertake the review at the TBM town council meeting held in the evening of March 9.

“This is very time-sensitive and that is why you are seeing this in front of you today,” Prince said. “I am definitely looking to have something in front of council [from the review] by mid-August.”

As per the grant stipulations, the final report is due to the provincial government on Sept. 18.

KPMG LLP will examine trends in TBM over time and contrast findings to comparator municipalities of similar sizes.

The review will explore opportunities for improvement, routes to reduce operating costs and alternative service delivery options, including looking at sharing service delivery with neighbouring municipalities and the county.

Through the review, KPMG LLP is required to identify specific, actionable recommendations based on the analysis and findings that aim to identify cost savings and improved efficiencies.

TBM town council is hopeful the review will produce practical takeaways that can be used to modernize service delivery and establish long-term sustainability within the town’s expenditures.

Jennifer Golletz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca