Hastings County council is pursuing talks with the City of Belleville over the issue of shared services.
Comments made Monday by city councillor Jack Miller were “news to us,” county chief administrative officer Jim Pine told county council Thursday in Belleville.
Miller said he’s had “concerns for some time” about costs for the shared cost of such services as long-term care plus parking and speeding ticket revenue, which is divided between the county, Belleville, and Quinte West.
Pine said if city council is concerned about shared-service agreements with the county, those agreements can be reviewed and amended – and it may not be to the city’s benefit.
“We’re always ready to discuss our shared service arrangements. We do that every year when we do the budget,” Pine said shortly before councillors adopted the county’s 2017 budget.
He said the county is now “playing catch-up” with renewal of its two long-term care homes, Hastings Manor in Belleville and Hastings Centennial Manor in Bancroft. Such tasks as furniture replacement and roofing have perhaps been deferred for too long in an attempt to avoid increasing the county’s levy, said Pine.
But he accepted no blame for Belleville’s declining revenue from traffic and parking enforcement.
“The revenues that are shared are based on the number of tickets issued in the previous year,” Pine said.
“The City of Belleville has consistently issued fewer tickets” than Ontario Provincial Police detachments in Quinte West and Hastings County, he added.
“Really, it’s the city that needs to talk to its own police…
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