Local Municipalities Voice Concerns Over Changes to Police Funding Model
A number of rural Alberta municipalities are sounding the alarm over the province’s review of policing costs, with the UCP contemplating changes to the funding model for municipal policing.
Currently, municipalities with a population under 5000 do not directly pay for policing through their municipal taxes. Under a new model that the Government of Alberta proposed to municipalities this fall, smaller communities could begin paying between 15 to 70 percent of policing costs.
On Wednesday, Lac Ste. Anne County issued a joint press release with the Town of Onoway, the Village of Alberta Beach, and the Summer Villages of Silver Sands, South View, Sunrise Beach, West Cove, and Yellowstone stating their concerns. The County says that if the new funding model is implemented, it would mean an increase of $1.4 million (at the top end of the model) to Lac Ste. Anne County, which works out to more than $400 per year to the average taxpayer. The County also pointed out the proposed cost structure does not come with any mention of more policing services.
Below is a link to the County’s press release with the funding models attached for reference to costs.
While the UCP says they won’t put costs on municipalities, and any funds received from a new model will help communities, Lace Ste. Anne calls the plan ill-conceived and says taxpayers will pay hundreds more a year for policing.
The County is encouraging ratepayers to voice their questions and concerns to Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Doug Schweitzer and Lac Ste. Anne-Parkland MLA Shane Getson.
424 Legislature Building
10800 – 97 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2B6
#18, 4708 Lac Ste. Anne Trail North
P.O. Box 248
Onoway, Alberta T0E 1V0
Scott Safety Centre Expansion Project Gets Higher Budget Approved, Contract Awarded
Whitecourt Town Council this week heard an update on the Scott Safety Centre expansion project.
Last October, Council entered into a Renovation Contribution Agreement with the Stark Sports Society to share in the cost of constructing a dressing room for the Whitecourt Wolverines.
On Monday, Council heard that Requests for Proposals were sent out for the building construction, and upon coming back, the overall budget for the project is now higher than originally anticipated, from $650,000 to $800,000.
Mayor Maryann Chichak explains the increase and Council’s decision to amend the agreement.
The new budget means both the Town and Stark Sports Society will cost-share the project, contributing $400,000 each. Whitecourt will front the total costs, and Stark Sports will reimburse the town their portion on a payment schedule over 6.5 years.
Council also awarded the design-build contract to Edmonton-based company Brenex Building Corporation.
Work is expected to start on the arena as soon as possible and be completed in the near future, given the time crunch in place since the Scott Safety Centre is needed for events such as Whitecourt’s Trade Fair over Mothers Day weekend.