Members of township council are taking a long look at expanding resources for bylaw enforcement and animal control.
While a final decision won’t be made for a couple of weeks, that conversation kicked off the second round of budget deliberations Friday (Feb. 1) as local politicians were presented with three options to increase staffing in the department.
– Increase hours by converting one part-time staff member to full-time at a cost of roughly $53,950 for wages and benefits. That would result in an extra 790 hours of staff time per year;
– Increase hours by hiring an additional part-time staff member at a cost of $38,950 for wages and benefits, $700 for telephone, $500 for clothing and possibly $3,150 for pension. That would result in an extra 1,430 hours of staff time per year; or,
– Increase hours by converting one part-time staff member to full time and hiring another part-time staff member at a cost of $56,739 for wages and benefits, $700 for telephone and $500 for clothing. That would result in an extra 1,430 hours of staff time per year.
“We’re doing the best we can…with what we have,” said Sarah Beauregard-Jones, the Township’s bylaw and animal control supervisor.
In addition to staff members caring for more animals at the municipal shelter, Beauregard-Jones also said that parking enforcement – which the DRPS “refuses” to handle – has also placed “increased pressure” on the department.
“That’s the biggest issue in Brock next to speeding,” commented Mayor Debbie Bath-Hadden.
Ward 2 Councillor Claire Doble and Ward 5 Councillor Lynn Campbell both said they were in favour of the third option, while Ward 1 Councillor Mike Jubb said he would support any of the options on the table.
“I’m a big proponent of increasing services (in this area),” said Ward 1 Councillor Mike Jubb.
Regional Councillor Ted Smith said he “could live with” the third option but did note that adding a new staff member would come with “increased expectations from the public.”
While she also didn’t take issue with any of the options presented, Mayor Bath-Hadden requested a full presentation on the department’s activities before the budget is finalized.
“We need to look at this sooner rather than later,” she said, noting that additional resources may also be required.
The presentation will be held during a special meeting of the protection services committee on Monday, Feb. 11.
“That allows us some time to be flexible,” Mayor Bath-Hadden said.