The Town of Elk Point recently approached the County of St. Paul to amend their water commission cost sharing agreement. Based on volume usage, Elk Point is responsible for 80 percent of the administrative costs, while the County is responsible for 20 percent. Elk Point had approached County Council requesting the cost sharing be changed to a 50/50 split. After some debate, Councillors voted to uphold the existing agreement of an 80/20 split based on the fact that Elk Point uses 80 percent of the water. Councillor Glen Ockerman was the only Councillor opposed to the vote.
Based on 2015 numbers the costs associated with administration are $25, 696.27. Under a 80/20 split, the Town of Elk Point was responsible for $20, 557.01 and the County $5, 319.26. Changing the agreement to a 50/50 split would increase the County’s responsibility by over $7,000, where both municipalities would be responsible for $12, 848.14. Council felt that this was not reflective of usage and voted, with the exception of Councillor Ockerman, to deny the Town of Elk Point’s request.
Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for Elk Point, Ken Gwozdz says the Town understand the County’s position. “We understand the County’s position as the Town does use 98% of the water purchased by the Commission.” CAO Gwozdz says the two municipalities have a strong relationship and will continue working together. “The Town of Elk Point has a very strong inter municipal relationship with the County of St Paul and will continue to do so. We thank County Council and Administration for considering our request and their continued support.”
The administrative cost in question included bookkeeping, auditing, financial management, reporting to board, clerical, legal, insurance, faxing, telephone, and materials/supplies.