Millet town council will not be supporting the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association’s (AUMA) push to the province for a new police funding model.
Currently, municipalities under 5,000 in population do not pay into the police funding model and Millet town councillors would like to leave it that way as they do not feel what the town would have to pay would lead to increased service levels.
Council says its position is not an attack on RCMP members, but with no detachment in Millet it cannot justify the funds AUMA seeks with the new model.
Councillors made their decision following a discussion of the matter during their Feb. 14 meeting.
“I have several problems with this,” said Coun. Mike Storey. “They say everybody’s got to pay, but based on what?”
Councillors Robin Brooks and Pat Garrett voiced their agreement that Millet has a need for better service and that it would not be fair to the municipality for have to pay but receive no benefits.
Mayor Tony Wadsworth says AUMA represents urban municipalities across the province but is not paying enough attention to the different kinds and sizes of municipalities.
Council was forced to take its stance after AUMA requested council’s support in the form of a draft.
A letter from AUMA president Barry Morishita to the Town of Millet states, “The inequitable responsibility for funding police services and funding shortfalls have frustrated many of the AUMA’s members for several years. AUMA believes in the everyone should pay concept, whereby the province adopts a more equitable funding formula based on population and property assessment.”
The letter goes on to explain the funds gathered by the new funding model would address crime prevention and response, and the rural crime epidemic.
Along with its letter to Millet, AUMA provided a template letter for municipalities to send to the province and their local MLA in support of the funding model.
The letter would have municipalities stating its support of the everyone should pay funding model and that allowing the smaller municipalities to not pay is an unsustainable method.
Council defeated the AUMA request unanimously.