Proposed policing costing model worrisome

The Alberta government has been contemplating implementing a new policing costing model.

This model would require small rural municipalities under 5,000 in population to contribute between 15 and 80 per cent for the same policing services they already receive.

The current Police Act has the provincial government paying most of the tab while the federal government pays the remainder.

Communities over 5,000 are required to provide frontline services to their communities.

Two hundred and ninety-one municipalities do not directly pay for this service, equalling to roughly 20 per cent of Alberta’s population.

The Village of Alix pays for enhanced police enforcement already.

“I have the utmost respect and admiration for the RCMP and especially our local detachment at Bashaw,” began Councillor and former RCMP member, Ed Cole.

“If we are hit with this, we may as well have to pass on the cost to our fellow taxpayers in Alix, either through raised taxes and/or cuts in service. This council has endeavoured since day one to lower taxes without cutting services.”

Coun. Cole pointed out that with their local detachment based out of Bashaw, he suspects they will not receive any better service unless manpower is increased.

Otherwise, the village’s taxpayers will essentially be paying more for less service.

“I believe this new proposal is, in a word, outrageous,” he continued. “Cuts should be made before saddling the small rural municipalities for extra policing costs with no expectations in an increase in service.”

The councillor recommended council do three things to show their opposition to this recommendation:  Complete the online survey, create a correspondence from council directed to the province, and speak to others at the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association convention about the issue.

“They have painted us into a corner,” said Mayor Rob Fehr.

Council directed administration to create and send a letter showing their opposition while council commits to doing the online survey.

Fee Schedule Bylaw

The updated Fee Schedule bylaw was passed with a few changes.

It was last updated over 10 years ago.

These updates were needed to properly address new sections of the recently passed Cemetery Bylaw.

It was not set to have cost recovery when dealing with public works overtime call outs.

Other changes included the reduction of the photocopying charge from one dollar per page, making all compliance certificates $100, increasing the cost of a development permit for discretionary use to $125 and adding a fee for sending or receiving faxes.

 

Terri Huxley

ECA Review

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