In 2019, the Town of St. Stephen received a presentation from Alex Henderson of the Southwest New Brunswick Service Commission regarding the planning services available to the town. Henderson had previously presented to the town’s Senior Management Committee where more operational aspects of the service offering were explored. On August 29, 2019, a proposal for services was received by the CAO. No action was taken at that time due to the lack of funding available in the 2019 General Operating Budget. In the regular council meeting on December 16, council approved the 2020 General Operating Budget for the municipality. Contained within that budget funds were identified for the purpose of considering the contracting of local planning services to the Southwest New Brunswick Service Commission.
As a result, council will vote in an upcoming meeting on the following financial consideration: In the 2020 General Operating Budget, an allotment of $50,000 was identified for the acquiring of the services herein contemplated. Since the adoption of the budget, the SNBSC has advised that the 2020 cost of services would actually be $45,918. This agreement would be a continuing service with a two-year termination notice period.
Council may A -Approve the Recommendation: In selecting this option Council would be contracting out planning and development services which are currently managed by the Chief Administrative Officer. The CAO does not have the training and expertise being offered via this service arrangement. Further, in entering into this relationship Council would be mitigating liability as the service provider will take on the liability associated with planning and development administration, which has been a growing concern in the municipal sector, or B – Reject the Request: In selecting this option, Council would be identifying the current municipal arrangement as being appropriate for the community. This option will continue to rely on outside contractors to address the lack of expertise in certain areas.
For the full report, see the documents section under the Town Hall tab on the Town of St. Stephen website.