During this week’s budget meeting at City Hall, the topic of protective services was raised.
Protective services include the RCMP, Merritt Fire Rescue and things like bylaw officers.
CAO Scott Hildebrand spoke to the services taking up the biggest piece of the municipal tax pie.
“Of that average house ($266,000) in 2019, you paid $1,408 in municipal taxes, of that $637 goes to protective services. So, approximately 45% of the municipal taxes that we pay, on average, goes towards protective services, and that percentage will change as we potentially add two new RCMP officers in 2020. So nearly half going into 2020 will be towards protective services,” said Hildebrand.
Hildebrand did mention that City still doesn’t know when they’ll be receiving the recruits.
“Our goal for 2020 is to ensure that we’re fully staffed, we try to do that every year. Staff Sgt. Wood has been providing myself and the Mayor with regular updates on how they’re striving to become 100% staffed. Obviously, that’s a desperate need in our community and that’s what we have to strive for,” added Hildebrand.
City Hall budgeted for 15 officers in 2019, however, due to various factors, Director of Finance Sheila Thiessen mentioned they averaged closer to 11.5.
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