North Huron Ready For Public Meeting On Policing Future

The numbers are in for policing costs in Wingham and the surrounding area, and they’re raising more questions for council members.

CAO Dwayne Evans made a presentation Monday night regarding the costs of maintaining the same level of service;  amalgamating the Wingham police with the OPP;  as well as expanding the current Wingham service to handle East Wawanosh and Blyth.

Evans said the costs between the OPP and keeping the current level of service are comparable for the first three years, however there are savings by going with the OPP plan, beginning in Year 4.

But councillors noted they have issues with the OPP pricing model, with Deputy Reeve James Campbell noting that police costs always seem to go up, never down.

A public meeting is expected to be scheduled shortly.

North Huron Council must respond to the OPP proposal by March 25th, 2018.

Evans’ report stated that by switching to the OPP model, there could be savings of approximately $2.1 million total over the next 10 years, with Evans noting that the OPP pricing drops considerably after Year 4.

According to Evans’ numbers, in Year 4 alone, North Huron would save approximately $417,000 by switching to the OPP.

However, councillors remain concerned that when Year 4 comes around, there will be extra costs added on by the OPP that they have no control over, meaning any savings gained by going with their service could easily be negated if the cost changes.

OPP representatives are being invited back to a future council meeting to answer more questions about their pricing model.