Though many mayors around B.C. seem to be blistering over the fact the RCMP will be getting pay raises after a new contract signed between the force and the province in March, Mayor (Ross) Forrest says Lake Cowichan has nothing to worry about.
The 20-year contract will end up costing Nanaimo an estimated $4 million, and Mayor John Ruttan says, “Any hopes of reducing the fat off the budget between now and May 15 is pretty slim.”
Many municipalities are facing a 1.75 per cent hike in police wages this year, and a 1.5 per cent increase in 2013. However, because Lake Cowichan’s population still has a ways to go before the population hits the magic 5,000 mark, the town will not be affected by the increase.
“We pay pretty well a standard fee for RCMP costing,” says Forrest. This cost sits at somewhere around $100,000 per year for Lake Cowichan tax payers. “Its not going to have a huge impact on us. You don’t pay a lot until you’re over a population of 5,000. Lake Cowichan’s population is about 3000.”