Wembley residents will have home support, enforcement under renewed agreements

·2 min read

Wembley will continue to benefit from County of Grande Prairie programs under agreements renewed last month.

The councils renewed the home support, assessment, peace officer and animal control service agreements for a three-year period, said mayor Chris Turnmire.

“This gives some stability with the service agreements we have with the county,” Turnmire said.

“The (home support) service is certainly very important … (and) for the length of the agreements, there are mechanisms in place to ensure we can have our own bylaws enforced.”

Turnmire said it would be an onerous expense to provide the affected services in-house.

“When you look at the resources the county has and the expertise they have, from council’s perspective it makes more sense to contract those services out,” he said.

“The county has always been a supporter of small rural municipalities, and when we can work together to provide the services required, it’s always a better option than to go it alone.”

The home support program is administered by county Family and Community Support Services.

The service is provided on a “cost-recovery” basis, but the county also bills Wembley an 11 per cent administrative fee, according to county administration.

Turnmire said this administrative fee hasn’t been a significant expense.

County assessors will also continue to service Wembley under the renewed agreements. The cost to the town is $19,159 in 2021, $19,542 in 2022 and $19,933 in 2023.

According to county administration, county Regional Enforcement Services has contracted services to Wembley since 1996.

The county bills Wembley $119.93 per hour of peace officer service for both general peace officer duties and for animal control, according to the agreements. In 2019 bylaw enforcement cost the town $10,428 and animal control $896.

The animal control agreement caps the amount Wembley could pay to the county for this service at $14,392 per year, with a maximum 10 hours per month.

Brad Quarin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News