Cop cost a concern

Policing costs are one of the biggest items on municipal budgets

Police are one of the major expenses for municipalities in B.C.

Policing costs are steadily increasing and developments at the provincial and national level don’t offer any obvious solutions for smaller municipalities like Parksville, according to acting mayor Chris Burger.

Speaking from the Union of B.C. Municipalities conference in Vancouver on Wednesday, after Solicitor General Shirley Bond announced that Ottawa threatened to withdraw RCMP services if a new 20-year contract is not reached by November, Burger said those are issues that have to be worked out at the provincial and federal levels, but could impact Parksville.

Policing services are “by far the largest single item on the Parksville budget,” he said, and are projected to hit $2 million a year soon, out of the city’s roughly $15 million budget.

He said Parksville has looked into the possibility of establishing its own police force and found it would cost far more than the the RCMP currently cost for those services.

“The detachment is currently doing a good job,” he said, pointing out that among other benefits, as a huge national organization they can parachute in resources as needed for big events or major crimes, which a small force simply can’t do.

The city is also approaching the 15,000 population cutoff (currently around 11,000) in which they would lose the small communities grant and have to pay 90 percent of the cost, instead of the 70 percent it is now responsible for.

“That would amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars in extra costs,” Burger said.

“That’s one of the reasons I repeatedly say it’s good to be small,” he said, pointing out that the current proposed build-outs could push the city over that line and easily require a five to seven per cent tax increase just to pay for the same policing services.

“These are all very big ‘ifs’ for us,” he concluded, indicating the city has to watch the negotiations and deal with the effects.



Just Posted

Coombs farm auction returns April 28

CFI hosts 41st annual auction

Ballenas grad to perform opera and art songs in Parksville to fund Prague trip

UBC music student Juliana Cook was asked to study and sing in the Czech Republic

Qualicum Beach versus Parksville – who wins?

Councils could take part in first-ever lawn bowling challenge

Ravensong Waterdancers to get you in sync

Teams will perform 12 routines at watershow on April 28

Soccer Whalers trip 49ers 1-0 in high school clash

Ballenas now prepares for North Island championships

‘No answers:’ Canadians react to Sri Lanka bombings that killed hundreds

The co-ordinated bomb attacks killed at least 207 people and injured 450 more on Easter Sunday

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

Party with extreme views on immigration running on Vancouver Island

Opposing candidate says National Citizens Alliance’s participation ‘highly problematic’

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Most Read