DAN CEARNS The Standard
KAWARTHA LAKES: The Kawartha Lakes Police Service (KLPS) is asking for a nearly 10 percent increase to its budget for 2024.
At a special council meeting, on Thursday, November 2nd, representatives from the police service presented a 9.82 percent increase request to Kawartha Lakes Councillors, as part of the 2024 municipal budget discussions.
A 9.82 percent increase in the budget equals $918,043 being added to the police budget.
Police Chief Mark Mitchell stated, the request is tied to a change to population growth projections for Kawartha Lakes.
In 2021, the police force’s consultant pegged population growth, in the KLPS area, to reach 33,449 people by 2040. However, 2023 projections now expect that number to grow to 47,445 by 2041.
“This is a preparation for the increased population growth which we know is coming to the City,” Chief Mitchell said.
The local police chief then told councillors, the police service’s salary and wage increases, over the last ten years, have been below the provincial average.
“I recognize our ask is big, but I think we’ve been financially responsible when compared to the rest of the province,” Chief Mitchell said.
Ward 8 Councillor, Tracy Richardson acknowledged the KLPS is not the only police service facing budget pressures.
“The police services are all facing that same type of increase,” she stated.
Kawartha Lakes treasurer, Carolyn Daynes pointed out, the KLPS is an “area-rated” service in the budget, meaning only a portion of taxpayers have it on their bill.
“Kawartha Lakes Police Service and OPP (Ontario Provincial Police) have separate area rates. So, the residents of Lindsay and Ops pay for the Kawartha Lakes Police Service, and the residents of all other communities in Kawartha Lakes pay for the OPP.”