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A Windsor councillor is pushing for new cost sharing arrangements with the Municipality of West Hants when it comes to library services and the local Visitor Information Centre.
Coun. Scott Geddes aired his concerns about the status quo at a committee of the whole meeting in February.
Geddes said he is concerned there is not a cost sharing agreement in place between the Town of Windsor and Municipality of West Hants that requires both municipalities to chip in for the ongoing costs the Town of Windsor has been covering to this point.
The councils in Windsor and West Hants both agreed to fund the construction of the library but the Town of Windsor, as the host municipality, must continue to maintain the building.
To illustrate why he is concerned, Geddes asked CAO Louis Coutinho to provide council with a breakdown of how many people from each municipality use the Windsor Regional Library.
Coutinho said 35 per cent of the library users are from Windsor, 58 per cent reside in West Hants and the rest live elsewhere in the province.
The CAO added that the library has 2,069 registered users from Windsor and 3,468 from West Hants.
Coutinho said the Town of Windsor pays about $51,600 annually for library services.
“In the interest of longevity of our library and everything else, should we maybe consider some type of a user fee for citizens outside of the Windsor area to defer some of these costs?” asked Geddes.
“This is not a small amount of money.”
Deputy Mayor John Bregante noted that the library’s operating policies would not allow the town to impose an additional user fee on citizens from a select area.
Geddes said he feels it is imperative a better cost sharing arrangement is struck with either the users or the Municipality of West Hants.
Mayor Paul Beazley concurred, stating that the current funding model is unfair.
“I’d recommend that we look for cost sharing and I know we’ve gone for it before but I recommend we ask for it again,” said Beazley.
The mayor suggested council write a letter to the Municipality of West Hants to request that the neighbouring municipal units cost share for the operating expenses of the Windsor Regional Library in the upcoming fiscal year.
Council unanimously voted in favour of sending the Municipality of West Hants a letter. Coun. Laurie Murley was absent.
Geddes noted that he would like to see a similar discussion take place regarding the Visitor Information Centre that is based in Windsor, but promotes both municipalities.
Council agreed to revisit the item at a strategy and policy meeting.