Regina Park tent city was dismantled on Sept. 14, 2018. File photo.

Regina Park tent city was dismantled on Sept. 14, 2018. File photo.

The District of Saanich said the costs associated with the former homeless camp in Regina Park could exceed $900,000 by the end of the year.

The tent city was set up in May and tenants were evicted on Sept. 13  after a B.C. Supreme Court judge granted an injunction to the district. Some of the campers have since moved to Goldstream Provincial Park.

According to a draft report from Saanich finance director Valla Tinney, ongoing management issues related to the encampment are expected to cost between $746,500 and $923,500.

Tinney said in the report although the disbanding of the camp earlier in the month had an impact on ongoing costs, the district is uncertain as to what future costs will be.

The costs include a hygiene station, police deployment and remediation of the park. The report states policing costs could be over $500,000, with the total costs reaching $315,000 by the end of September. Additional policing costs of $55,000 to $232,000 are estimated for October to December.

The hygiene station, which contains showers and toilets, on the grounds of Saanich municipal hall, is anticipated to cost approximately $169,000 by the end of 2018. The monthly costs are $23,200 for unit rent, security, supplies and staffing.

The report said once the hygiene station is no longer needed, it will cost $29,600 to remove the trailer and equipment. However, the hygiene station is expected to remain open into 2019.

As for remediation costs, the district estimates the total will be approximately $207,000 but that number could change.

The contingency budget for 2018 is $700,000, which means overage ranges from $46,500 to $223,500.

“Given the ongoing uncertainty, it is not recommended to make any financial plan amendments at this time,” Tinney writes in the report.

“If needed, allocation from other department operating budgets may be implemented where they are forecasting surpluses at the end of the year.”

The monthly costs for the hygiene station have been funded through contingency for this year and it is recommended that continues in early 2019 until it is reassessed in budget deliberations.

The draft report will be discussed at the council meeting on Oct. 1.

 

 

 

 

CHEK News