KIRKLAND LAKE - The town of Kirkland Lake will save $406,467 in policing costs thanks to the new formula being used by the province to determine the cost of OPP services.
Kirkland Lake Mayor Bill Enouy said this was an issue that the town, a lot of Northern communities and communities in southern Ontario have been working on for some time. He said police costs were all over the place and some places like Wawa were paying $1,000 a house and other places were paying $100 per house.
The government of Ontario, the municipalities and the OPP have come up with a system that uses a base rate per household and then calls for service are added onto the base rate. This means that communities that have more calls for service will pay more.
Kirkland Lake CAO Nancy Allick explained to council that when they determined what Kirkland Lake's costs would be for 2015 they went back four years and averaged the calls for service. In 2016 the cost above the base cost per household will be determined by the number of calls for service in 2015.
She continued that the new system is being phased in over a five-year period so the town is still paying more that it should be. This gives municipalities who weren't paying enough a chance to build up to paying what they should be.
The cost of policing in Kirkland Lake is dropping from $655.74 to 574.20, which works out to a an 11.42 percent decrease or a savings of $406,457 in the 2015 budget.
Enouy said the new billing system has nothing to do with the number of policemen in the community, nothing top do with equipment used by the OPP, these items are covered by the base cost.
The mayor described the new costing formula as a fair system because you are paying across the province the cost of maintaining police divided by per capita type of thing. It will not cost any more or less if you have 16 or 18 policemen.
He said if three police cars show up for one call that is one call for service and not all calls for service are charged for. If an officer stops by to check something then that is not a call for service but if it is something that has to be written up then it is a call for service.
The calls for service over the last four years in Kirkland lake have decreased every year said Enouy. He attributed this to the police doing a better job and the economics of the town are a little better.
â€œWhile I'm not happy its being phased in over five years, that's the way government does things,â€ said Enouy.
Under the new system municipalities pay 60 percent of policing costs and the province pays 40 percent. Councillor Al French said future councils will have to keep an eye on the transfer payments the town receives from the province to ensure they are not cut back to make up for the additional policing costs the province is paying.
http://www.northernnews.ca/2014/10/08/k ... -opp-costs
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