Downtown Association wants a safer downtown; The city says she may not have the money
The pilot program called the Downtown Safety Program, combining Norpro Safety Patrols and Ambassadors Safety Patrols, was due to be reviewed at the Downtown Association meeting tonight. It’s a program the association wants to expand but the city says it may struggle to get the funds approved.
There were three options to consider: one with both safety and security patrols costing $307,204, the second option as only security patrols costing $201,826, and a third option as only security patrols at a cost of $105,378.
“We want it all,” said board member Frank Gaccione.
Paul Scoraienchi, another board member strongly agreed and posed the idea that whatever cost is needed, it should be the cost. He wants to survey member companies to see what their ideas for change are and if changes are needed.
Currently, the Ambassador Program, which is a partnership between the City of Sault Ste. Marie, the Downtown Association and the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) conduct security patrols downtown between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Norpro security patrols are between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Tom Vair, spoke on behalf of the City, stating that when the City is in its budget deliberations, it can be difficult to secure a large dollar amount for this cause.
“We see that the program is working. Both work exceptionally,” Scornaienchi said. He wondered why he couldn’t have bigger “requests” for funding. He also spoke about safety and security being a major political issue in the ongoing local elections in the city.
Most recently, on October 6, Village Media and Road to Recovery had windows smashed with rocks downtown.
Vair said the ideal would be to find an additional source of funding.
ACSM has indicated that it wishes to extend the Ambassador Program, of which it is a part, to relocate to Jamestown.