Cornwall police board budget has goal of no increase for 2016

Cornwall Deputy Police Chief Danny Aikman and Chief Dan Parkinson address a police board meeting Oct. 13, 2015. Aikman is drafting the board budget which is looking to bring in a zero per cent or better bottom line on its 2016 submission to city hall. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – With a first draft of the Cornwall Police Services Board budget underway, the city’s deputy police chief is aiming for a “zero per cent increase or better.”

But Danny Aikman told the board Tuesday there are some challenges with meeting that figure, including payments for board members to attend extra meetings.

The practice, called a per diem payment, was re-introduced in May and generally members are paid $70 for every extra meeting they attend as part of their board duties (such as police contract negotiations).

The spending was tracked this year as there was no line item in the budget. As of the end of September, the five-member board had amassed $1,600 in per diem charges.

That increased to just over $2,100 as of today (Tuesday), Aikman told the board.

Aikman later told Cornwall Newswatch there are other areas of the budget that are underspent that will easily offset the per diem expenses incurred this year.

“Some of the stuff we’ve been attending is to basically keep us updated on what’s going on. I think it’s a benefit to the service. I think $2,500 for five people over the period of a year is not a lot of money,” board chairman Andre Rivette said.

“I’m recommending you put some form of consideration in the 2016,” Aikman said, suggesting an amount of $2,500 in next year’s budget.

The entire police board budget was $334,338 for 2015. As of the end of August, $195,980 had been spent or 59 per cent of the annual allotment. A report before the board Tuesday said they are on track to stay within budget.

Right now, the first draft of the 2016 budget is at $336,838 or a 0.75 per cent increase over 2015.

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