560 CFOS

560 CFOS

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Town Says Trailer Assessments And OPP Don't Add Up

South Bruce Peninsula | by John Divinski  

South Bruce Peninsula says it's paying too much for the OPP to assess trailers.

The numbers don't add up when it comes to assessed trailers and OPP costs providing service to them.

The issue came up at the South Bruce Peninsula regular council meeting October 2nd, as they were reviewing a Progress Report, submitted by the OPP.

It's a familiar complaint that the municipality, at 2.5-million-dollars a year, is paying too much for police service.

Deputy Mayor Jay Kirkland said an excellent example is with seasonal trailers.

He says the town has about 800 in the assessment rolls for which they get about $150 each from the province to help cover costs providing municipal services.

However the police service levy for each trailer is up to $340 and any service calls are above that.

He points out that levy is paid out all year, even though the trailers aren't occupied in the winter.

Kirkland says they system has backfired and it's time to either up the assessment payout or change the OPP funding formula for tourist areas that have a large amount of seasonal trailers.

He wants the province to adjust the OPP funding so that it's based on permanent year-round housing in the municipality and not seasonal living quarters.

Mayor Janice Jackson says that's easier said than done.

Jackson says she spoke to provincial ministry officials on the dilemma at a recent provincial conference, and were told point blank, the province wasn't interested in the issue, nor was it on their radar.

She says their next step is to go to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario to explain their case, believing there must be other communities in the same situation with assessment on trailers and rising OPP policing costs.

In the meantime, officials of the OPP will be invited to a future meeting of South Bruce Peninsula council to talk about the concerns.

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