Squamish RCMP costs set to rise 

Mounties don't come cheap these days, especially in a town with a rising population.
According to a letter sent to Squamish by Kevin Begg, B.C. assistant deputy minister and director of Police Services, the district will likely have to pick up more of its protective services tab thanks to an increase in population.
"The impact of that change is potentially a $600,000 increase in RCMP costs," said Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Kim Anema at this week's regular meeting of council.
Up until now, Squamish paid for 70 per cent of RCMP costs, while the provincial and federal governments picked up the rest. The annual contract for 25 officers is currently $2.1 million.
However, if a town's population rises above 15,000, that town is then responsible for 90 per cent of those costs.
The government uses Census data to determine populations. According to the 2006 Census, the population of Squamish is 14,949, just 51 people below the cut off. However, those numbers are being revised, and the new costs could come on stream in April.
"That's where we are," said Mayor Greg Gardner, "and we will carry on a dialogue with the province on this issue."

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