Barrie Police, Library Hope To Offset Budget Bottom Line With Grants

Police, Library Present Budgets Ahead of Municipal Tally

Budget season is in full swing over at Barrie City Hall, with three presentations in front of Council.

The Barrie Police Service was first up to the podium on Monday night, with a request of the city for $53 million dollars. The sum total of the service’s operating and capital budget was actually a bit higher, save for several grants, secondments, and recoveries by police, balancing out to over $6 million in savings.

The Service plans to increase its sworn compliment by five officers this year, one of the many items on the budget that also includes increases to maintenance, child advocacy, and insurance. The Service noted decreases in the cost of operating supplies, and property rental.

Barrie Police say recent legislative changes affected this budget, with more impaired driving enforcement expected. It is anticipated the Service will make some roles currently occupied by uniform officers into civilian positions.

Meanwhile, grants are taking a huge bite out of the Barrie Public Library budget. Of the total $8.5 million expenditure expected in 2019, all but $150,000 is covered by municipal grant requests.

In its presentation to City Council, Barrie Public Library staff also noted an increase in use of many of the library’s service. According to the presentation, there has been a 35% increase to in-person visits to library locations, with a 24% increase in demand on electronic resources including e-books. While modest, there has been a five per cent increase in program attendance, while overall circulation is up about two per cent. The upward trend is said to signify the growth in the community and need for expanded library services

Related: County Budget Highlights Homelessness Prevention Efforts

Monday night’s meeting also saw the County of Simcoe make a budget request of just over $22 million, much of which expected to go towards social and community services.