Terrace council signs RCMP contract

Council originally held off as unknown costs began to surface

  • May. 29, 2012 1:00 p.m.

THE CITY of Terrace has signed a 20-year RCMP services contract despite a surprise post-budget officer pay hike coming to light in April.

In all, the city has now agreed to pay an additional $20,411 which it did not know about during contract negotiations.

Of that amount, the cost to Terrace taxpayers for 1.5 per cent officer pay increases is $4,300.

Council was ready to sign in April but then held off until the total bill could be tallied.

Other costs include $14,286 for changes to the RCMP’s Canadian Pension Plan, and $1,855 arising from other RCMP contract changes.

Terrace’s city council was surprised by the additional expenses because they came to light after the federal budget was passed in late March, said a report from city finance director Ron Bowles.

There is a trickle down effect on municipalities from the federal budget for the RCMP as it is a federal service contracted through various levels of government.

Costs are shared and divided along the way, depending on the nature of a contract.

For municipal RCMP contracts, this includes a cost splitting formula which for a city the size of Terrace amounts to a 70 – 30 split with the federal government.

The City of Terrace has 25 regular officers that work directly for the municipality, although other officers are paid by the provincial government and work in the Terrace area also.

Should the city not have signed on to the contract for service, the alternatives would include paying the entire cost of its own police force, or not having one.

The last municipal RCMP service contract was signed in 1992.

The city is expecting to see another increase for services next year, as it will be expected to pay for a portion of a new RCMP divisional headquarters being built in the lower mainland.