Recent announcements by the provincial government regarding rural crime have been met with somewhat mixed reactions, especially as the most recent one promised increased police coverage but no provincial money to pay for it.
According to the County of Wetaskiwin, that announcement will mean, in a few years, an over four per cent tax increase just to cover policing.
A press release from County of Wetaskiwin reeve Terry Van de Kraats noted, “The impact to the County budget over the next 4 years is as follows:
“2020 – $124,800 (approx. .75% tax increase)
“2021 – $267,506 (approx. 1.5% tax increase)
“2022 – $409,600 (approx. 2.4% tax increase)
“2023 – $695,012 (approx. 4.1% tax increase)
“The County continues to fund an enhanced member at the Breton Detachment ($160,000) and a Crime Analyst at the Wetaskiwin Detachment ($110,000). These contributions are over and above the Provincial funding requests.
“Overall the County will contribute $394,800 to RCMP services in 2020.
Van de Kraats said, “The County of Wetaskiwin supports the thought of more ‘boots on the ground’ in an effort to reduce rural crime across Alberta.
“However, the County is unsure of local impact the announcement will have at this time and whether the funds we contribute will associate with more RCMP members in our area. Council wants to ensure the residents are getting value for the money spent.”