Decision on new RCMP detachment for North Cowichan/Duncan expected soon

The construction of the long-anticipated new police building for the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment may soon finally begin.

The construction of the long-anticipated new police building for the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment may soon finally begin.

The detachment, as well as the one at Shawnigan Lake, forwarded their service-model reviews to the province’s Police Services Division on June 17.

North Cowichan mayor Jon Lefebure said the province will review the services of each detachment and it’s likely that a decision on the construction of the new North Cowichan/Duncan detachment will be made after that.

“We’re not the ones who will make the final decision on the new detachment, and we must wait for provincial approval to proceed,” he said.

“We’ve done our due diligence on the cost and size of the new detachment, but there is still some work to be done on the final design.”

The current detachment site on Canada Avenue is in a deteriorating condition, and is unable to hold the number of officers, prisoners and support staff to meet the needs of a growing community.

After four years of searching the community for a suitable location for the new detachment, the municipality chose a five-acre location on Ford Road in 2014.

The cost of the new building, which is loosely estimated to be about $23 million before the final design is completed, will be split between North Cowichan and the province.

Under the policing agreement with the province, Victoria pays for all the policing costs for communities under 5,000 people, and communities with more than 5,000 people pay for 90 per cent of their costs. This means the Duncan portion of the bill will go to the province. North Cowichan will be responsible to cover close to half the costs of the detachment.

“We’ll be looking to borrow money for the construction part of this project,” Lefebure said.