City begins Alternative Approval Process for new RCMP Detachment
April 30, 2020
The City of Fort St. John has started the Alternative Approval Process for the new RCMP Detachment. This process will allow the City to borrow up to $22,759,713 to finance the cost of construction on the new RCMP Detachment that will be repaid over a period not to exceed 20 years. This borrowing will not result in a tax increase for property owners as the loan will be repaid using lease payments received from the RCMP for the provincial portion of the building.
The existing Fort St. John RCMP Detachment building is over 35 years old and nearing the end of its useful life. Due to this, the City had an independent building condition audit and feasibility study completed to determine the best course of action for the RCMP Detachment. These studies showed the current RCMP Detachment is too small, doesn't meet current RCMP requirements, and that renovating the building is both prohibitively expensive and impractical.
In addition to housing the over 90 current employees, including a combined total of 65 police officers from both municipal and provincial funded units, and 25 support staff, the replacement RCMP Detachment is designed with future growth in mind. The replacement RCMP Detachment will be constructed just north of the current detachment and will be municipally owned and leased by the RCMP in what is known as a Post-Detachment model combining both municipal and provincial RCMP staff.
This proposed project would be jointly funded by the City of Fort St. John and the RCMP, with the RCMP funding 37.5% of the project through yearly lease payments over a 20-year term. Utilizing capital reserve funds that have been set aside for this project, the City will finance the remaining 62.5%. Based on Class C/D cost estimates, the project will cost $51,434,379, with an accuracy of plus or minus 15-18%. The City has applied to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities' Green Municipal Fund for a loan of $10 million and a corresponding grant of $1.5 million or 15% of the amount of the loan.
The Fort St. John City Council proposes to borrow the money and undertake the construction of the new RCMP Detachment unless, by 4:30 pm on Monday, June 8, 2020 at least 10 percent of the electors in the City of Fort St. John sign an elector response form opposing the implementation of the proposal unless the municipal council holds a referendum. Using the Election BC's registered voters list for the City of Fort St. John, the number of elector responses required to prevent the City from proceeding, unless a referendum is held, is 1,557.
Residents are able to learn more about the project and complete the Elector Response Form, in person at City Hall during regular business hours or by visiting letstalk.fortstjohn.ca. For further information please contact Janet Prestley, Director of Legislative and Administrative Services at 250-787-8153 or firstname.lastname@example.org.