Sault Ste. Marie has been granted $205,000 for a third-party audit of municipal finances.
Steve Clark, Ontario's Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, advised Mayor Provenzano of the news last week.
The local independent service delivery review is part of a $7.35 million provincial initiation intended to identify cost savings of four cents on the dollar at large urban municipalities and district school board, while still maintaining front-line services.
Council passed a bylaw tonight authorizing execution of an audit agreement between the city and the province.
The following is the full text of the minister's letter to Mayor Provenzano:
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Office of the Minister
777 Bay Street, 17th Floor
Toronto ON M5G 2E5
August 8, 2019
Your Worship Mayor Christian Provenzano
City of Sault Ste. Marie
Dear Mayor Christian Provenzano,
Thank you for your submission to the Audit and Accountability Fund and for your commitment to demonstrating value for money.
I am pleased to inform you that the Government of Ontario will provide funding of up to $205,000 towards the City of Sault Ste. Marie service delivery review for the cost of an independent third-party reviewer to deliver a final report with specific and actionable recommendations for cost-savings by November 30, 2019.
In the 2019 Ontario budget, Protecting What Matters Most, our government put forward a plan to achieve savings of four cents on the dollar to set Ontario on the path to a sustainable government.
As an important part of this plan, our government is committed to assisting large urban municipalities in doing their part to become more efficient.
The work the Audit and Accountability Fund will support in your municipality is an important step toward achieving that goal.
A transfer payment agreement is required to provide funding for this work.
I have enclosed a transfer payment agreement for this project for your review and signing.
Ministry staff will work with your staff to finalize the transfer payment agreement and work through details of funding implementation.
Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact Marcia Wallace, Assistant Deputy Minister at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I would like to offer my congratulations on this funding approval under the Audit and Accountability Fund and extend my best wishes as you work to improve service delivery and administrative efficiency in your municipality.
Steve Clark, Minister
c. Albert Horsman CAO, City of Sault Ste. Marie
In other news, City Council voted tonight to reschedule a meeting that was planned for Monday, Oct. 21 – the same day as this year's federal election.
They agreed to meet instead on Tuesday, Oct. 22 "in order to provide members of council, staff and the public every opportunity to vote."