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Township mulls moving chambers

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NEW DUBLIN – Council here is researching a move to a building in its business park, which would allow it to consolidate Elizabethtown-Kitley township staff in one building.

The property, known as the former J-R Business building at 4504 Rowsome Road South, is for sale at an asking price of $1.5 million and has storage units and building rents in place which the township would manage for additional revenue.

Mayor Jim Pickard said consolidating township staff into one building would achieve efficiencies.

“One of the things that occurs when you start splitting staff ... is that you have a lot of inefficiencies” and added costs, he said.

In 2009, the township moved its finance staff to a satellite office in Toledo, with its main administration office remaining on New Dublin Road.

The yearly mortgage for the Rowsome Road property at the asking price, based on a 25-year term, amortized at 2.99 per cent, would be $87,928.

An estimate provided by the township projected it could net annual revenue of $135,185 from renting storage and business units in the building, resulting in a profit of $18,290 a year to the municipality.

Melanie Kirkby, treasurer and finance director, said after the mortgage is paid, yearly revenues from the property would total around $100,000.

But the township's roads department is also housed in the Toledo building, which Councillor Eleanor Renaud said would still have costs to operate.

“That's where everyone in the north-end goes. I'm not going to be the one telling them that we're taking that service away from them,” Renaud said.

“We're still going to be paying the heat and insurance on the Toledo building when the roads department is there.”

Pickard said an administrative staff member would remain at the Toledo office, along with roads staff, to assist residents in that part of the township.

Councillor John Johnston said there would probably be more costs than anticipated to adapt the Rowsome Road building to the township office's needs.

“We're looking at our financial statements, which are scary, and then we're looking at buying a new building where money's no object,” Johnston said.

“I think it's a good idea but the wrong time,” said Councillor Dan Downey.

Councillor Susan Prettejohn said the move would eventually save money, as it would eliminate a high volume of phone calls and travel between the two township offices.

Renaud said the township should investigate the market for the current building on New Dublin Road. Council voted to have staff investigate the costs associated with the proposed move before making any decisions.

“It doesn't make any commitment; (it) just gets more information on the table,” said Pickard.

“In the meantime, it could be sold on us.”


FACTBOX:


COSTS, PROFITS

Storage unit rents: $98,592.00

Current building rents: $36,593.94

Maintenance (including insurance, property manager, repairs, utilities, septic tank, snow removal and grass cutting): $28,967.54

Monthly mortgage: $7,327.35

Yearly mortgage: $87.928.20

Net profit: $18,290.20

(Source: Township of Elizabethtown-Kitley)

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