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New Classroom Enhancement Fund stalling School District 58 budget process.

Unlike previous years, Secretary Treasurer Kevin Black says the budget won't be approved until at least June.

"We have to submit a proposal to the Ministry of Education for staffing by April 28th, and won't know whether it will be approved till June 2nd. In the past we would pass our budget in May."

Black says public meetings to discuss the School District 58 budget have now been pushed to June as well.

City of Merritt setting aside enough to pay for RCMP wage increase.

"It wasn't unexpected, and we have been prepared for it."

Director of Finance Sheila Thiessen confirms $100,000 was set aside to cover retro active pay since 2015, and the future increase is already more than covered in the 2017 budget.

"The city gets charged for 15 officers at a general duty rate. We pay 70% of their wages."

Merritt RCMP officers are receiving a 1.25% increase in pay in retro active to 2015, and a 2.3% "market adjustment" increase moving forward.

The number of overdose deaths in BC continues to grow.

After a few months of the numbers declining they are spiking again, as March was the third worst month on record with an average of four deaths a day in the province.

So far 347 people have died of overdoses this year, including two people here in Merritt.

Last year, Merritt saw four fatal drug overdoses, and BC a record 931.

NVIT students getting crash course in what it takes to become an RCMP officer.

Merritt RCMP Cst Tracy Dunsmore says students in her Law Enforcement Preparatory program are staying at the RCMP Training Centre in Regina the next couple days.

"They won't get to participate in any of the activities, but will get to observe. There's lots of new equipment for them to see since I was last there, whether its computerized driving, or fire arms training."

Dunsmore says the four students will leave this weekend knowing exactly what is expected of them during the six months of training, should they choose to pursue a career with the RCMP.

School District 58 to discuss potential electronic crossing sign at Central Elementary School with the City of Merritt.

Superintendent Stephen McNiven says there continues to be concern about student’s safety when crossing Voght St, and an electronic sign might be a way to alleviate them.

"We were certainly concerned after the recent accident where a young boy was hit on his bike, and felt it was important to have a discussion with the city to make sure we are doing what we can to mitigate safety risks."

Last month's incident was the third since 2014, where a child was hit by a vehicle along Voght St near Central Elementary School.

The meeting between the school district and City of Merritt is scheduled for next week.

 

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