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Carstairs' share of policing costs estimated at $86,000


CARSTAIRS - Council has discussed the new policing model set out by the province and how it will affect the town's costs moving forward.

Small and rural communities, with some exceptions, will begin contributing a portion of their frontline policing costs in 2020.

To give communities time to adjust, the new funding model is being phased in: communities will contribute 10 per cent of policing costs in 2020, followed by 15 per cent in 2021, 20 per cent in 2022 and 30 per cent in 2023.

“It leaves us with some questions with the enhanced (service) we currently pay for and the administrative position we were looking at funding and whether this changes under this new model the province rolled out,” said CAO Carl McDonnell.

Policing costs for each community will be determined by municipal tax base (as measured by equalized assessment) and population to calculate a base cost. Communities will also be eligible for other subsidies that consider other factors that may affect local policing costs.

“We're waiting to get more information back from the province on how that will affect our current funding."

McDonnell said the town would be expected to pay an additional $86,000 into policing under the new policing model.

Currently, the town pays about $170,000 for one enhanced officer, he said.

"We'll have to find out if the $86,000 is on top of that or would it be part of that," he said. "That's what we're trying to find out from the province. We're also set to pay an additional $60,000 for the full-time administrative policing position.

“So, again, we'll have to find out if that'll be covered under the new policing model they announced or whether we'd still have to pay $60,000 for that position."