View Royal council has approved More than $180,000 in spending to advance a project which proposes to replace and expand the West Shore RCMP’s detachment building in Langford.
The building is co-owned by the municipalities of View Royal, Langford, and Colwood, and the $186,720 from the town’s Police Capitalization Reserve approved by View Royal on Jan. 17 represents the town’s share of the $1.2 million required to further refine the project’s plans and move it into the validation stage.
View Royal’s approval of the funds to move the project along comes after Colwood council voted Jan. 9 to delay their decision until after the RCMP and Colliers, which produced a feasibility study and preliminary plan for the project, could meet with council and provide more information.
View Royal Mayor Sid Tobias said council ultimately agreed with the report’s finding that the existing building – actually two buildings connected together, with one having been built in the 1960s and the other in the 1990s as an addition – was no longer adequate to support the needs of the West Shore RCMP moving forward.
As the West Shore’s population is projected to increase in the coming years, so too will the number of officers assigned to the detachment.
”The West Shore is growing at significant speed,” said Tobias. “It is a huge expense for us, but if we had a joint municipal police force, we would have the same issue … growth has a cost.”
Tobias said his concern with the project is the degree in which the public will be involved. He said he feels the public must be able to have their say in the new building. He plans on working with the soon-to-be-formed Joint Police Facilities Steering Committee – which will include the mayors and CAOs of the three municipalities and oversee the project – to determine how exactly that will happen.
Should it be approved, the project would be expected to total $82.4 million, plus or minus 25 per cent. A building size of 92,417 square feet together with 2.5 acres of parking would be needed in order to accommodate the next 20 years of growth, with opportunities for extra space to be leased out until needed in order to help recover some of the costs.
The project would see the older section of the building demolished and replaced, and the newer section of the building renovated, with neighbouring properties purchased to accommodate the expansion.
Should all three municipalities approve their budget contributions, the project’s validation stage would run until mid-2023, with project approval and complete funding tentatively scheduled for the fall. Construction would occur in 2024 and 2025.