Smiths Falls town councillors are enthusiastic about the possibility of sharing the cost of some services with the neighbouring municipality of Montague Township.
Chief Administrative Officer Malcolm Morris told councillors at a meeting of council’s Committee of the Whole on May 8 that the idea to explore possible sharing of services came about when officials from both municipalities met to discuss another issue – the provision of town water to residents of the Atironto Subdivision. Montague Township sent a letter to Smiths Falls in early April asking for a meeting to air its concerns over the 175 per cent surcharge levied by the town for water services to Atironto, which is located within Montague. The meeting took place on May 2.
In his May 8 report to council, Morris said that, “All participants agreed the scope of the discussion should be expanded to include a series of services that have potential to result in cost savings to both parties.”
Noting that the two municipalities have partnered for over 20 years in the provision of water and sewage services to Rideau Avenue and Atironto, as well as sharing recreational facilities, Morris said staff at the May 2 meeting felt opportunities should be explored to share other services such as snow removal, economic development, planning, and policing.
“We’re supposed to be working together as opposed to working apart,” commented Smiths Falls Councillor John Maloney at the May 8 meeting. He offered to serve as a council representative on a joint committee with Montague.
“It’s an opportunity for synergies,” agreed Mayor Shawn Pankow. “I want to be part of that group as well.”