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North Huron/Morris Turnberry Dissolve Public Works Shared Services Pilot Project

Thursday February 2nd, 2017



The Township of North Huron and the Municipality of Morris Turnberry have agreed to dissolve the Public Works portion of the Shared Services Pilot Project, effective February 17th, 2017.

The Shared Services Project was first explored in a Concept Report which was adopted by both North Huron and Morris Turnberry Councils in December of 2015. The report stated that during the two year term of the pilot project, the merger would be monitored to determine if efficiencies and cost savings could be achieved.

North Huron undertook a review of the Shared Services project at the completion of the first fiscal year to assess the project’s progress and concluded that, under the current shared services model, the stated goals in the Concept Report could not be achieved. During this review, Jeff Molenhuis, Director of Public Works for the Shared Services Project, submitted his resignation. In light of North Huron’s position with respect to the efficacy of the shared services model, North Huron Council decided that it would not be feasible to jointly fill the vacancy with Morris Turnberry. This decision was communicated by Reeve Vincent to Mayor Gowing and Morris Turnberry Council in a letter on January 24th. Morris Turnberry Council has concurred with this assessment and, therefore the shared public works service will be concluded as of February 17th.

In an announcement to North Huron staff on February 2nd, 2017, North Huron CAO, Sharon Chambers and members of Council confirmed that Jeff Molenhuis would be continuing on in the position of Director of Public Works, solely for North Huron. Chambers stated, “We are pleased that Jeff has agreed to stay with us to continue the progress we have made over the first few months of the Shared Services Project. Much of the framework that has been established will remain, and can be built upon to advance our organization”.

Jeff Molenhuis commented “Following my resignation from the Shared Service Project, I was pleased to be offered a position at North Huron to continue building on the team’s achievements over the past few months. Our work in the coming year will focus on a business plan for Public Works to establish a framework for our maintenance activities, and to seek out operational efficiencies.   Council has asked for better information to understand their infrastructure priorities. In that regard, I will begin to develop a comprehensive program to manage our assets, with the goal of achieving long term sustainability. I look forward to leading the North Huron Public Works group to provide high quality public works services to North Huron residents.”

North Huron Reeve Neil Vincent stated “When we first considered the Shared Services project in late 2015, we knew that we wanted to establish a better business model for North Huron as an organization. While we didn’t achieve the efficiencies we had hoped for, we have made great progress toward developing that business model. We learned a great deal about shared services through the process, and we would like to share that learning with other municipalities who may be considering a similar venture. I would like to thank my colleague Mayor Paul Gowing for his vision and leadership in recognizing that working together is necessary for the future of our two municipalities. Mostly, I want to thank all of the staff for the work that they put into this project over the past year.”

Further detail regarding the Shared Services Project performance will be made available when a full analysis has been completed.