Muskoka Lakes Asks Hard Questions On Policing Costs
The Township of Muskoka Lakes is asking hard questions about the amount of money they pay for policing.
Councillor Frank Jaglowitz and Mayor Phil Harding, recently attended a regional roundtable in Orillia on police services. The meeting was meant to receive municipal input on Detachment Boards, the makeup of the OPP Advisory Council, and aligning the billing for OPP services with Bill 68, which came into effect March 2019. The OPP billing model, under the new act, means base service will be the same for all municipalities.
The District is billed for the cost of policing and each municipality’s share is added to their tax bill. Muskoka Lake’s portion of the District’s bill is $2.7 million yet taxpayers pay $5.7 million.
Coun. Jagolwitz said he’s reviewed the new Act and he believes it might allow Muskoka Lakes to have its own Police Services Board and deal directly with the OPP for policing services. If possible, he said it could save Muskoka Lakes some $3 million.
Mayor Harding cautioned councillors that the previous council already had a legal opinion on separating from the District, and Muskoka Lakes was told they can’t separate. The Mayor suggested that Muskoka Lakes could have a representative on Bracebridge’s board.