SBP Council Briefs
Council will present its proposed 2017 budget at a public meeting at the Wiarton Community Centre and Arena, Feb. 9.
In an ongoing effort to find a way to decrease policing costs in the municipality, SBP council directed staff to write a letter to Bill Walker, MPP asking for information regarding the provincial formula for the number of police required per capita and to ask for help in finding ways to reduce policing costs in the municipality. A letter had previously been sent from council, Nov. 1, to Larry Miller, MP, asking for information regarding any federal funding available to municipalities for policing – and pointing out that federal taxes are used to provide RCMP policing to Canadian communities.
RCMP has contracts to police eight provinces and three territories. Ontario and Quebec have their own provincial police.
The Town received a response from Miller, Dec. 9.
Miller said the RCMP provides some service in Ontario, but the majority of contract policing in Ontario is provided by Ontario Provincial Police (OPP).
“Any municipality that requires contract policing services must pay the RCMP or OPP for these services. Both the RCMP and OPP are obligated to recover the cost of providing policing services to municipalities.” *** Cliff Bilyea, ambassador for Community Foundation Grey Bruce, gave an update to South Bruce Peninsula council at its meeting in Wiarton, Jan. 3.
Bilyea said there were five active community funds – but none in SBP.
The purpose of a community fund would be to champion worthy causes specifically in the town, he said.
A donor would have to come forward with $10,000 seed money to start a local fund and a committee from the community – including one council member – would have to be formed.
Once the amount reached $25,000, Bilyea said, granting could begin.
In an interview after the council meeting, Mayor Janice Jackson said, “It would be wonderful to have a granting branch here in the Bruce Peninsula, but as we’ve learned here today that takes a donation of roughly around $25,000 from somewhere within the community to start the fund.”
Jackson added tax dollars were probably not on the table for the initiative, as the town is already looking at its budget to find financial support for the Wiarton skateboard park and “also went through the motion of getting rid of grants to chambers and things like that, so, I’m not sure that we would necessarily kick in any seed money. But there’s other ways that we could certainly help.”
*** New and increased fees for services from the municipality were in place Jan. 1, 2017.
Overdue fee payments will be subject to a two per cent monthly penalty. Uncollected fees can be added to tax bills.
Increased fees include arena dasherboard fees of $850 plus HST. Tax and water certificates have been bumped from $50 to $60 in 2017.
Landfill fees have risen from $5 to $10 per tonne for many items and facility rental fees have had nominal increases.
News fees include $30 to change ownership or billing information on a property tax or utility account.
To see the complete list of 2017 fees, visit the town’s website at southbrucepeninsula.com. Fees are linked from the Dec. 6 regular council meeting agenda.