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Marathon, police come to agreement on bill

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Manitoba Marathon’s concerns over policing costs for this year’s event have been resolved.

Deputy police chief Art Stannard told the city’s senior councillors this morning that the marathon will only be billed $2,500 this year – not the $20,000 marathon organizers cited.

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Stannard said the marathon was informed over a year ago that they would have to start paying for policing services this year, adding the worst-case scenario was an $18,000 bill.

The marathon formally asked city hall for $15,000 to cover policing costs, expecting they’d be able to cover the remaining $5,000 through sponsorship or internally.

Shirley Lumb, the marathon’s executive director, said the request for financial assistance was sent out in April but she sat down with police last week and they reached an acceptable amount.

However, Lumb said she never pulled her original request for assistance, which ended up on the executive policy committee agenda.

"The police were super," Lumb said. "They were able to reduce the cost to an amount we can afford."

Stannard told EPC the $18,000 figure was based on bringing in uniformed officers on over-time to patrol the 56 controlled intersections along the marathon’s route.

However, Stannard said that by using cadets and on-duty officers, the cost was greatly reduced.

Lumb said she remains concerned that the city could pass along additional costs in the future, adding it’s possible policing costs could increase.

Entrance fees for adults was raised $5 this year, Lumb said, to cover the additional policing costs and other expense increases, adding the organization might have to increase fees again next year.

"Our preference is to keep fees at the same level for three or four years but increasing them again next year is something we might have to do – if we can’t find additional sponsors," Lumb said.

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

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