Police Services Board supports $17.5-million policing budget for 2024

Wellington County council to consider 2.2% increase to policing operations budget on Jan. 25

GUELPH – The Wellington County Police Services Board (PSB) is in support of a $17.55-million operating budget for policing in the county.

Following a high-level look over the entire county budget with council on Jan. 8, treasurer Ken DeHart presented a brief overview of the county’s police budget on Jan. 10.

The total amount to be shouldered by taxpayers for police operations this year comes out to $17.55 million – an increase of 2.2% over last year’s policing budget of $17.17 million – and the per-property cost will be around $421.

That amount factors in a forecasted credit for unused services, and a new civilian communications staffer.

The county’s PSB has budgeted to spend an estimated $1.92 million in taxpayer dollars between 2024 and 2032 to bring an additional officer into its contract each year.

But because new officers can’t be added to the county’s contract this year as the province reassesses how it delivers service, the board has opted to spend $107,000 on a new civilian communications staffer with an anticipated April start date.

Although policing makes up just 6% of the county’s proposed $301-million operating budget this year, it is the second largest demand behind roads on the pool of money generated by taxes at 14% of this year’s proposed $128.8-million tax levy.

Beyond policing itself, the county also spends on ancillary costs such as insurance, supplies and cleaning staff. It also receives government grants to fund local programming such as Wellington County Safe Communities and Project Lifesaver.

With everything included, the county’s total budget related to police in 2024 is $18.74 million.

There are no capital expenditures, such as building maintenance, budgeted this year.

The final county budget, including the total cost of policing, will be voted on by council at the end of the month.