BROCKTON – The issue of Brockton paying more than its fair share of policing costs due to the presence of court in that municipality is not new.
It’s been a matter for discussion over the past decade or more, said Mayor Chris Peabody. The issue includes the cost of court security and prisoner transport, as well as other costs.
There’s a new issue that Brockton has discussed with the Solicitor General of Ontario, Sylvia Jones, as an Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) delegation.
Peabody said Coun. Tim Elphick has carefully researched the costs involved with people charged with failing to appear in court. When someone from Kincardine, South Bruce or Saugeen First Nation, for example, gets charged with fail to appear, Brockton pays for police to go after the person. It costs Brockton about $26,000 extra per year, Peabody said.
He further explained that should the person be from Hanover, which has its own municipal police, Hanover pays for the call. But that’s not the case for jurisdictions covered by the OPP.
The mayor said Elphick presented the matter to South Bruce OPP, with no results.
“The OPP refused to acknowledge the unfairness,” said Peabody.
The response from the solicitor general was good, he said.
The second of three AMO delegations was with Minister of Agriculture Lisa Thompson regarding some kind of agricultural processing going into the business park, Peabody said.
“She was intrigued.”
The third delegation was with Minister of Health Christine Elliott regarding the hospice situation.
As of press time, the meeting had not taken place.
Peabody said it’s a sensitive issue, since there are two groups involved, with the municipality caught in the middle.
“We’re not taking sides,” he said.
The municipality has provided land and pledged support for construction of a residential hospice in Brockton.
“We want to get it done, added Peabody.
However, there’s a delay, and the municipality is seeking assistance from the minister in dealing with the “log jam.”
Said Peabody, “We want to see what can be done, anything to push it along.”
In addition to the AMO matters, Peabody spoke of a concern regarding the Walker West development.
“Talks have broken down between the developer and the municipality’s lawyer,” the mayor said.
There are 13 townhouses for seniors that are all spoken for, but construction has been delayed by an issue with the pumping station.
“There’s a potential delay until July (2022),” Peabody said.
He’d like to see construction of the townhouses go ahead, so people could move into them in January, not July.
“People have sold their houses,” the mayor said.
He said he’s hoping the Aug. 17 special meeting of council will help resolve the breakdown in communication.
See next week’s Herald-Times for council coverage.
Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times