Kitchener-Waterloo

How Waterloo's unsanctioned St. Patrick's Day party cost $713K

After seeing the estimated price tag for patrolling and putting up with the annual unsanctioned street party, CBC K-W asked police, paramedics, Waterloo and the universities what exactly they spent $713K money on for St. Patrick's Day this year.

You asked: CBC audience wanted more details on St. Patrick's Day party cost

Waterloo Regional Police estimate the number of people who attended the unsanctioned St. Patrick's Day party on Ezra Avenue this year was 22,000. (Joe Pavia/CBC)

Officials say the unsanctioned St. Patrick's Day street party on Ezra Avenue in Waterloo cost various groups in the region $713,000.

But some of our readers questioned the final price tag and wanted to know how that money was spent to control the estimated 22,000 people who flooded onto Ezra Avenue on a sunny and warm Saturday, March 17th.

CBC K-W asked police, paramedics, the City of Waterloo and both universities for a breakdown of their costs for that day. The total amount came to $713,578.

Waterloo Regional Police Services — $330,000

  • Overtime: $163,000
  • Planning and analysis: $64,000
  • Logistics: $44,000
  • External Policing: $41,000
  • Non-overtime wages: $18,000

The non-overtime wages were for officers already scheduled to work that day but who were directed to be at the St. Patrick's Day event. Those officers would have been working in other areas of the region that day if it wasn't for that event. They were assigned to Ezra Avenue and the entire "St. Patrick's Day corridor."

The external policing cost represents how much the force had to pay to bring in extra officers from Peel Region.

Chief Bryan Larkin also noted the cost in 2017 was around $120,000, but the increase this year was in part because St. Patrick's Day fell on a Saturday.

Wilfrid Laurier University — $191,000

  • Safety and security: $154,000
  • Staffing: $37,000

The university hired 283 extra security guards for the weekend. The money for safety and security was budgeted for ahead of time.

The staffing cost included planning work as well as extra staff who were on campus and in the residence buildings over the course of the weekend.

Regional paramedic services — $120,078

  • Planning: $36,673
  • Logistics and equipment: $30,517
  • Training: $23,881
  • Staffing: $22,095
  • External resources: $6,912

"Any training provided was to ensure the safety of staff and attendees of the event in order to ensure best possible outcomes for everyone involved," said Julie Kalbfleisch, manager of information and communications with Region of Waterloo Public Health.

City of Waterloo — $62,500

  • Municipal enforcement services: $28,500
  • Fire Rescue Services: $15,000
  • Transportation Services: $4,000

Cost for all three areas included day-of event staffing, planning time as well as equipment.

  • Administration and other supports; corporate services (such as communications): $15,000

This was for staff time during the day of the event and in planning.

University of Waterloo — $10,000

  • Extra security guards in residence: $10,000

"We didn't have any issues out of the ordinary, but with all of the out of town visitors we wanted to make sure we took extra precautions," said Matthew Grant, director of media relations for UW.

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