Taxpayers in Armstrong need to brace themselves for a significant increase in taxes this year to pay for RCMP policing costs.
Armstrong’s population has gone over 5-thousand which means they no longer qualify for a rural policing designation for about 50 per cent of the costs.
Mayor Chris Pieper says negotiations on the first contract started yesterday (Wednesday) and the expense of policing will be higher now.
“Seventy per cent of our actual costs are born by the municipality plus some administration and some office costs, and that will take place by April 1st.”
Under a rural designation last year, Armstrong paid $240-thousand, so Pieper says this will mean a major impact to taxpayers despite a contingency fund being started about six years ago to prepare for this moment.
“We have a few bucks put away to lessen the initial impact but this year for sure there will be a significant impact to the cost of RCMP services to the City of Armstrong.”
“We know it’s going to be significant because when you go from our rural police tax from a fifty percent to a seventy per cent cost plus administration and office space, those are significant numbers to a small municipality.”