Two dozen out of work at Sarnia youth facility and taxpayers may be left with the bills
Sarnia police are warning local taxpayers to be prepared to pay more taxes following the surprise closure of the Eagle Rock Youth Centre in the city.
CTV has learned that the 25 people who worked at the open custody facility have received layoff notices.
The detention facility, which houses young offenders being re-integrated into society, was closed unexpectedly last week.
Police say local taxpayers are left to deal with the financial mess.
“It’s robbing Peter to pay Paul here and the added costs will come back to the city of Sarnia,” says Det. Sgt. Scott MacLean.
He says two officers will now have to drive to and from London to escort people to Sarnia youth court. The cost is about $500 a trip and last year that would have added up to about $30,000.
“We’re taking two officers off the street and maybe it might have to be backfilled with overtime as well so there could be additional costs involved. Our police budgets - a great percentage is the wages of the officers involved.”
But with only 10 resident beds, Liberal candidate Anne Marie Gillis, says the centre wasn’t cost effective as it was running under capacity for 18 months.
“To run a facility like Eagle Rock, it has to maintain 70 per cent capacity. If it's not at 70 per cent capacity then they have to do some reconfiguring. Eagle Rock is at 27 per cent capacity.