(BlackburnNews.com photo by John Chippa)

Wingham Ward Moving To OPP Coverage

The Wingham Police Service will slowly be disbanded.

A packed council chamber Monday night witnessed members of North Huron Council vote 6-1 to accept an Ontario Provincial Police costing proposal, which will see the Wingham Ward enter into a three-year transition contract, at which time it will be placed into the OPP billing model.

Most of North Huron council reversed course in the span of just three months, after voting 6-1 to keep the service in March.

The lone “no” during Monday’s vote was Wingham Ward councillor Yolanda Ritsema-Tenninga, who says council had until July 7 to decide on the costing proposal, and at that time, she wanted to use to engage neighbouring municipalities about having an expanded Wingham Police Service cover their areas.

The Wingham Police Board will now communicate with the OPP to agree on a transition contract. Wingham will enter the OPP billing model starting in 2022.

During the presentation at Monday’s meeting, CAO Dwayne Evans showed numbers that projected Wingham ratepayers would save a combined $8.3-million between 2019 and 2028 by going with the OPP instead of the Wingham police, which works out to approximately $831,430 per year.

Councillor Trevor Seip confirmed there is no possibility of the Wingham Police Service coming back, and that council’s decision Monday is final.