Higher steel prices have driven up the cost of fencing to protect the Sidney/North Saanich RCMP detachment and vehicles. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Higher steel prices have driven up the cost of fencing to protect the Sidney/North Saanich RCMP detachment and vehicles. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Higher steel prices hike cost of upgrades to Sidney/North Saanich RCMP detachment

Improvements increase security of RCMP building, vehicles

Higher steel prices are leading to increased costs for improvements to the Sidney/North Saanich RCMP detachment.

The improvements reconfigure the parking lot between Sidney’s municipal hall, the RCMP detachment and the courthouse building and involve fencing around a portion of the parking lot designated for RCMP use only.

While first approved in 2020, a more formal quote from the contractor came in higher than anticipated, raising the cost of the project to $108,000 from $80,000.

“Part of the increase was due to escalation in steel prices for the fencing component, while the rest was due to a more precise consideration of the security system elements required to meet RCMP standards,” said Andrew Hicik, director of corporate services.

Sidney’s share of the project (accounting for 48 per cent) now stands at $51,771, up from $38,349. North Saanich ($38,229) and the provincial government ($18,000) are responsible for the rest.

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Hicik said none of the funding partners will feel a net effect because they are funding it by deferring the proposed replacement of the detachment floor into 2022.

The fencing would provide security for both the detachment and vehicles and eliminate the flow of vehicles and pedestrians between Third and Fourth Street, long considered a hindrance to RCMP vehicles responding to calls, said Hicik.

Work on the improvements will likely start in the fall once road work along Third Street and Sidney Avenue has wrapped up, said Hicik, whose report also raises the possibility of additional costs.

This upgrade responds to a 2019 security audit of the detachment.

Hicik said planned improvements to the detachment cells and interview room are currently undergoing review as the RCMP has identified it as the highest priority project.

“It is likely that this will turn into a more significant reconfiguration of the RCMP office space, to comply with current security standards,” he said. “If a significant amount of additional funding will be required for this reconfiguration, information would be brought forward with the 2022 budget.”


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wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

RCMPSaanich PeninsulaSidney