Ed Wilson Wants Answers

Nov. 25, 2019

Ken Kelly, CAO

Municipality of Mississippi Mills

Mr. Kelly

Following the full day budget meeting on Nov. 21, 2019 which I attended, there is information that I would appreciate receiving.

  1. At the beginning of 2019 what was the total number of staff positions?

What is the complement of staff positions at the beginning of 2019 according to department?

Please include the library staff for both the total and the breakdown.

  • What additional staff positions are there as of Nov. 21, 2019 compared to the beginning of 2019?
  • According to the proposed Draft Budget which was discussed on Nov. 21, what will the total number of staff positions in 2020?

Please give both total and breakdown by department.

  • Is it true that some positions have very specific limited duties.  As an example, is it true that a grade operator is strictly limited to driving a grader only and may not perform any other work?

If that is true, what does a grader operator do when the grader is being serviced or the weather does not permit grading to be done?

  • For gravel roads, is grading done a specific number of times per season?

Or, is grading done on a per need basis?

  • Conversion of a Fire Truck.  I have been told that the transmission and rear differential are different in a Fire Truck compared to a Snow Truck – a Fire Truck is geared for speed while a Snow Truck is geared for power – that they have different transmissions.  Is that true and will the converted truck work properly in its new role?  Is the cost, which is comparable to a new truck, justified when the result is an old truck with no warranty?
  • What is the total amount that has been spent to date on the design of the upgrading of Mill Street?  If the work on Mill St. is limited to the upgrading/replacement of water and sewer, is it necessary to spend another $175,000 on design?
  • Water Tower

My understanding from the discussion, a water tower is desirable on the South side of the river for the fighting of fires in the event that the main water line under the bridge near the Old Town Hall were to fail.

Risk  equals  Probability times Severity

The probability that the water main would fail at the same time as a major fire would, in my opinion, be extremely low.

Also, in the event that both happened water could be brought by tanker in the same way that fires are fought all the time in areas outside of urban Almonte.

There also was a valid question regarding the timeline of the need based on when growth will occur.

I would appreciate hearing more rationale for the need of the water tower relative as to when growth will make it necessary.

  • Reserves

As I understand the reserves include funds that are carried over from one year to next.  If a project was budgeted for 2018 and not completed then the funds are carried over to 2019.

May I have a complete breakdown by projects of the funds that are considered part of the reserves.

  1.  Omitting the funds carried over and funds that are not dedicated to a particular project, what is the total amount of reserves?
  2.  Rental of Halls, Ice Rentals, Field Rentals

It seems that in some cases the rental fees are so high, that the facility is not being used – teams are playing at other facilities outside of Mississippi Mills and our facilities are sitting empty.  I have been told that the Pakenham ice surface is an example where even local hockey teams play elsewhere because the cost at Pakenham is too high. 

When the cost of an item is very high, very few are sold.  When the cost of an item is low, a great many are sold but the profit on each is very low.  There is a balancing point where the price is set to bring in the maximum amount.

Has a study been done to determine what the price should be to maximize the income? 

  1.  Trail Development (Item 82 under Capital)

When the trail from Greystone Crescent to the Appleton Sideroad was developed, the design included improvements (a sidewalk) to the road from the end of the trail on the Appleton Sideroad to the Round-About.  This work has not as yet been done.

Will this work be done in 2020?

  1.  Floor Cleaning Machine

Instead of a $10,000 machine, could this work be done with a pail and a mop?

  1.  Fire Department Staff

The Fire Department operated for many years with no full time staff and the Fire Chief did the training.

The indication seemed to be that there is no mandatory requirement for full time staff.  What is the rationale for the need for four (4) full time staff when thing operated very successfully in the past with none?

  1.  Grader with Bush Hog

The grader with the Bush Hog on an arm goes along cutting brush and leaves, in some cases, high stumps which are a danger to snow cruisers and ATVs.  The Bush Hog throws limbs in all directions with some ending up in the farmer’s field.

Has consideration been given to having the debris thrown onto private property removed by Town employees?

  1.  Are there job descriptions for all municipal positions?  May I have copies of all existing job descriptions.
  2.  Water Rescue

My understanding is that the OPP do water rescue.

If that is true, is it necessary at some significant additional cost to train and equip fire fighters to do this?

  1.  Bush Truck

Why was a new bush truck requested when the indication was that the existing one was adequate?

Your truly,

Edward Wilson

Mississippi Mills Resident