Finance & POA Court
The Finance & POA (Provincial Offences Act) Department are the ‘bean counters’ of the Town, tasked with financial management. In addition to collecting revenues, paying bills, and preparing the annual budget, this department is also responsible for POA Court management. The arrangement with the POA Court is that the Town of Parry Sound is responsible for operating the Court and it receives these revenues, which after deducting the cost of operating the Court, are distributed among the 19 municipalities covered by the Court’s jurisdiction. Total fines were forecast to exceed $1.3 million in 2015. Parry Sound’s share may well contribute to the $112,000 in revenue (Unspecified) budgeted for 2016. (As an aside, many municipalities, especially in the US depend on traffic violations and fines for a significant portion of their operating budgets. That’s not the case in Parry Sound. It is also a good reason for local municipalities not operating their own policing forces. Too often is has been the case that in these situations policing forces are under pressure to issue tickets, with fines, that have a positive impact on the local municipality budget or offset in part the cost of the policing services. It can become a vicious cycle. )
It’s also interesting to see that Financial Expenses and Property Assessment Costs are both forecast at $96,500. It’s odd to see two identical budget line items that aren’t linked in some fashion. But it’s not obvious what the connection might be.
This is the item that is creating budget issues for many of the West Parry Sound municipalities following implementation of a revised OPP costing formula last year. Parry Sound has benefited somewhat from the change, a net reduction of about 13% from 2014, but the Town still carries by far the largest policing cost burden in the District.