County releases RFP for service delivery review
By Chad Ingram
The following are brief reports of items discussed during a Dec. 18 meeting of Halburton County council.
Councillors voted to release a request for proposals for a consultant to conduct a service delivery and governance review for the County of Haliburton and its four lower-tier municipalities.
The study will look at the delivery of services, in particular, which tier is best suited to deliver which service, opportunities for consolidation of services, etc., and may also lead to recommendations to change the local governance structure itself, such as the possibility of an amalgamated, single-tier government.
According to a timeline laid out in a staff report, final questions from proponents will be accepted until Jan. 2, and the acceptance period for tenders will end at noon on Thursday, Jan. 16. A short list of candidates will make presentation to county council on Feb. 12, and county councillors will select a consultant on Feb. 26. The project is to be concluded by June 12.
Initially, it was thought that report would be completed by next fall. However, new municipal modernization funding the province has made available is a perfect fit for the project. A caveat is that in order to qualify for that funding, the study must now be completed by June.
County chief administrative officer Mike Rutter has estimated the process could cost $150,000, but has added on a number of occasions this estimate may be conservative. The upper tier of the county would fund half the cost, each of its lower tiers at 12.5 per cent, although a successful grant application for modernization funding would mean costs borne by the province.
Two physicians recruited
It appears the County of Haliburton has been successful in recruiting two new physicians to practice medicine in the county.
“There is a process we follow with this,” chief administrative officer Mike Rutter told councillors. “Part of it is getting HHHS to sign a letter, there’s some mentoring that needs to happen, there are a number of steps. But, I would say we have received a commitment . . . if not signed on the dotted line, but a commitment, from two physicians who want to start practising in 2020 in the County of Haliburton.”
“I think our investment in a physician recruiter has paid incredible dividends,” Rutter added. “In six months, we have two physicians ready to sign on the dotted line.
Earlier this year the county hired Cheryl Kennedy, formerly of the Haliburton Highlands Family Health Team, as physician recruiter, a new position for the county.