The Central Alberta Prevention Centre put its letter writing skills to good use to secure $2,860 in additional funding from the city.
Council adopted budget guidelines in May that give outside agencies with city contracts a three per cent increase/cost of living annual adjustment.
But a letter penned by the Central Alberta Crime Prevention Centre over the weekend convinced councillors to bump its agency’s funding up to five per cent.
Council voted 7-2 to give the agency $150,150, up $2,860 from the administration-recommended three per cent increase. The agency said the money will be used in part for a new co-ordinator position.
Coun. Buck Buchanan brought the motion forward to bump the funding up to five per cent from three per cent. Buchanan said $2,860 or two per cent is minimal in what the city is trying to do with crime prevention.
Coun. Lynne Mulder said they should not be tied into the three per cent if there is a reason why the funding should go above.
“We want these agencies to strive,” said Mulder. “They are one link in our entire crime prevention model and approach. I am waiting impatiently when the safety committee comes forward with a governance model … for how we handle crime prevention.”
But Mayor Tara Veer and Coun. Lawrence Lee, were opposed to the five per cent hike.
Veer said it is problematic to introduce not only an inequity among agencies serving the people of Red Deer, but also an inequity between agencies with city operations as a whole. The city departments do not receive a three per cent inflationary bump in salary.
“Even though the amount was very nominal and the work of the agency is very strong, by introducing an inequity it invariably introduces a precedent.”
Over the last three years the city has funded CACPC to assist in its establishment and day-to-day operational costs. Council heard the agency is finding it increasingly difficult to secure operating funding from other sources.
The city is also waiting to hear the final report from the ad hoc safety committee through which crime prevention funding will likely be funded in the future.
Today council will start the budget talks with agency requests. The deliberations are scheduled until Friday.