Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2002
City council will be asked to approve on a police budget pegged at $27.3 million, an increase of 7.2 per cent over last year. Sudbury police services board member were briefed Monday night on the 2002 operating budget.
They were told it is a bare-bones financial blueprint. Staff were initially looking at a $28.2-million budget, a 10.6 per cent hike over the police allotment for 2001.
The document was thoroughly reviewed, analyzed and prioritized by a management team, and the lower figure arrived at by recommending some items be deferred to next year, other items eliminated and spending in some areas be reduced.
Key reductions include chopping $10,000 from the funds allotted for police services board participating in out of town meetings and conference. A further $439,490 will be saved in salaries partly by deferring to next year two communicators positions, two court security jobs and the hiring of an alarm program clerk. Overtime will be reduced by $300,000 partly by decreasing RIDE programs.
Renovations to the downtown video monitoring system would be deferred, saving a further $16,650.
Chief Alex McCauley told police board members the reduced budget "puts us right to the bone" and it could only be pulled off with a wing and a prayer.
After receiving the budget, council still has the option of sending it back to the police board for further review. A good portion of the budget, 84.4 per cent, is dedicated to salaries.