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City budget talks underway – looking at 2.72 per cent increase

It’s less of an increase than last year, but it’s still an increase.

City council entered into budget deliberations Monday with a proposed 2.72 per cent increase in the city’s budget, which is just under $130 million.

One of the first items council to consider Monday was the RCMP budget. Supt. Warren Brown has been seeking additional funding for the past couple of years. Last year council approved three more officers for the detachment.

“We have been authorized to go to 138 members,” he told council. “That is for the 15 per cent vacancy pattern that we run, that enables us to have 121 members with boots on the ground.”

He said Prince George continues to be “over represented” with a high crime rate, which taxes the detachment.

He said even though the budget has allowed 121 officers, the reality has been there have been between 114 and 117 members at the detachment.

Brown asked for funding for an additional two members which, when implemented by the fall, would add about $340,000 to the police budget.

Council will deal with the request at its budget meeting tomorrow, Feb. 1.

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