After approximately three years of preparation, the province has finally put into place the downloading of provincial police costs onto municipalities.
For its first year, the municipalities will be required to get 10 per cent cost recovery, slowly increasing to 15 per cent in year two, 20 per cent in year three, and 30 per cent in years four and five.
A portion of the costs of frontline policing will be allotted back to each municipality based on facts like population, equalized assessment, crime severity, shadow population and detachment location.
Starland County is paying $61,170.
The province is expected to see $22,281,200 total from this regulation which is said to be reinvested into policing initiatives.
Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Shirley Bremer added at the regular meeting of council on April 28 that it was frustrating to not be able to note the expense as its own line item for tax payers to understand where this increase comes from, adding that this is basically another kind of requisition like seniors housing or education.
“It’s basically a requisition that they won’t let us show,” she said.
At the Rural Municipality Association (RMA) level, the advocacy group that represents the majority of rural communities has been up in arms in the past over the province’s decision to download policing costs onto municipalities, citing little conversation over the matter.
Glen Riep and CAO Bremer met with two people from Alberta Parks at the Tolman campgrounds to see its current condition.
They explained the operations of the parks, the maintenance and any issues that may need to be dealt with.
“We toured around the sites and he handed the keys over to Glen,” said Bremer.
“There will be some minor cleanup of fallen branches, cleaning the potable water tanks and some other preparations prior to the opening of these campgrounds for the May long weekend.”
There was a call from a Craigmyle resident who had a water issue last weekend.
It was reported that one of the pipes sprung a leak and although she turned her water off, it was before the shut-off valve so it continued to spray water into her basement.
The plumber she contacted wouldn’t turn the main valve off without permission from the county and she was distraught to find that no one was on call or immediately available.
The plumber was eventually contacted and given permission to turn it off by our personnel.
She feels that the county should always have someone on call for emergency situations.
No discussion or motion was made at this time.