LaSalle agrees to provide police costing, Amherstburg gets update on process

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Amherstburg town council received an update on how the police costing issue will be handled while a neighbouring municipality formally agreed to supply one of the costings.

LaSalle council met last Tuesday night and formally agreed to give a costing to Amherstburg. LaSalle Mayor Ken Antaya said the matter had already been agreed to by their police services board and they would ensure to make Amherstburg know LaSalle is submitting a costing.

“I suspect it’s going to take some time,” noted Antaya of the process, pointing out Amherstburg will also be considering costings from the OPP and Windsor.

The issue didn’t take long to discuss at LaSalle council, with only Antaya speaking prior to the vote.

LaSalle Civic Centre

LaSalle Civic Centre

Antaya told the River Town Times in a story published Jan. 20 that LaSalle is happy with their police service but the costing could help both municipalities achieve some cost savings, if it were approved.

“We’re not interested in making a million dollars,” said Antaya in the Jan. 20 issue. “We’re interested in watering down our costs. If we can reduce the costs Amherstburg currently experiences, that’s great too.”

At the Jan. 25 meeting of Amherstburg council, elected officials received an update on the process. Councillor Jason Lavigne, the chair of the Amherstburg Police Services Board (APSB), noted the lifting of the moratorium on costings by the OPP but pointed out any costing for Amherstburg won’t come any time soon.

“There are municipalities waiting for costings,” said Lavigne. “We’re hoping we’ll be in the next year or so.”

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo said they are working on bringing a representative of the OPP to council to explain the process. Lavigne added they hope to bring police services board representatives from OPP jurisdictions to Amherstburg to speak to council on their experiences.

Councillor Rick Fryer said a switch to the OPP could produce cost savings that the town could apply to infrastructure projects, but Lavigne added there are other municipalities that have OPP costs that have gone “astronomically high.”

Lavigne said that if town council votes to go to a regional service, he is not in favour of a takeover as he would want Amherstburg to have some control. When it comes to making a final decision, he said he wants all factors on the table and indicated he won’t make a decision simply based on dollars.

“It will not be a decision that will be made lightly and it will be made by this council,” said Lavigne.

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