Townships in Lanark County upset over the rising cost of the OPP say they plan to ask Ottawa Police how much they would charge to protect and serve their communities.
Municipalities in Lanark say proposed changes to the Ontario Provincial Police billing model could increase costs at the same time as the province eliminated a component of the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund that helps pay for police costs.
Since municipalities don't control police costs, it puts a strain on how they manage their own costs.
Each municipality has different contract
Richard Kidd, the warden for Lanark County, says service isn't the issue, but said some municipalities within Lanark may see costs go up 50 per cent under the new billing model.
"Maybe we could get it cheaper, but if we don't ask we don't know," he said.
Earlier this week the council for the municipalities in Lanark voted to ask the City of Ottawa if they would submit a bid.
Chief administrative officer Kurt Greaves noted in a report to the Lanark County council that getting a costing from Ottawa Police would send a message to the OPP.
The municipalities have also looked into entering into one contract with the OPP for the whole county, instead of individual contracts for each municipality, but found the cost savings weren't significant.
Perth replaced local force last year
Last year Perth, Ont., eliminated its own local police force and replaced it with the OPP.
At the time the municipality said the move would save half a million dollars.
Smiths Falls, Ont., is the only municipality in Lanark county that still retains its own police force.
Perth mayor John Fenik said the small towns need to get creative to deal with the costs.
"We have to start thinking outside the box when it comes to policing, because you can't throw money at it," said Fenik.
No one from the city of Ottawa or Ottawa Police services was available to comment.