Almost $140,000 will be spent on consultants this year.
During recent budget deliberations, South Dundas council was presented with a number of different projects for which professional, expert, third party advice of consultants was deemed important.
Studies that were given budget approval were $57,000 for the expansion of the Williamsburg landfill site, and $40,000 for South Dundas’ asset management plan. Both of these studies are necessary, to meet provincial requirements.
Council chose to allocate funds of $30,000 towards a new Fire Master Plan.
This study, is a follow up on the study several years ago that resulted in South Dundas deciding to amalgamate its fire departments and to hire a full time fire chief.
The purpose of this study is to project where South Dundas should focus its training for delivery of service. It too will focus on the distribution of equipment between the three stations.
“We are biased if we do this ourselves,” said Fire Chief Chris McDonough. “We really need a third party to come in and do this properly.”
This plan will also provide third party advice on future equipment purchases, a key component that prompted council to decide to allocate funds for this study in this year’s budget.
Another study that received budget approval is hoped to alleviate long time parking and traffic issues at the Morrisburg waterfront. Council decided to set aside $30,000 for a professional traffic study of the area. Another $20,000 was earmarked for that project for potential early implementation measures.
Horticultural consulting, based on recommendations from the community strategic plan, was also approved by council, so $10,000 was set aside for the study and another $10,000 was set aside for the implementation of some of its recommendations.
Not all of the consulting recommendations made the cut at budget time.
A $25,000 study for the recreation programming department proposed to examine the feasibility, content and potential location for a multi-use recreation facility was cut.
Realistically, the bricks and mortar stage of such a project would not be realized for about five years, according to the mayor and CAO.
“I don’t want to spend the money now, and then have the next council put it on a shelf,” said South Dundas mayor Steven Byvelds at the March 11, budget meeting. “We should not do the study until the project is realistically within our sights,” agreed South Dundas councillor Archie Mellan.
Council agreed to wait a year to go ahead with the study to allow time to search for funding opportunities.