LUCAN BIDDULPH – Lucan Biddulph learned some good news about its OPP station at a recent conference.
The municipality participated in the Jan. 25-26 Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) conference, which was held “virtually” this year due to the pandemic. Members of Lucan Biddulph council have expressed concern in the past about the future of the Lucan OPP station, noting that they want to ensure it stays open. As previously reported, small communities such as Exeter and Wingham lost their OPP stations last summer.
Coun. Daniel Regan reported at the Feb. 2 council meeting on a presentation he and Mayor Cathy Burghardt-Jesson gave at the ROMA conference to Solicitor General Sylvia Jones and OPP Deputy Commissioner Chris Harkins. Regan said Lucan Biddulph wanted to be proactive about the issue of the station remaining open. The presentation prepared by municipal staff indicates the Lucan detachment opened in 1961 with one corporal and four constables. By 1973 the number had increased to 15. The current detachment opened in 1973 due to the growth of the community.
The presentation also noted the significance of Lucan’s Peter Butler, who was the first Black police officer in Canada and was a constable for Middlesex County in Lucan, joining the OPP in 1913.
Lucan Biddulph’s presentation at ROMA also noted the population increase in Lucan and Middlesex County in recent years, with Lucan’s population increasing more than eight per cent over the last five years.
Regan and Burghardt-Jesson learned at ROMA that there have been no discussions about moving the Lucan detachment. They were also told Lucan Biddulph would be part of the conversation if the possibility ever arose.
“I think that’s something we were looking for,” Regan said.
“It was a good discussion,” Burghardt-Jesson added. “It was great that we were proactive … At least we’ve made that connection. They know who we are.”
Regan thanked staff for preparing the presentation.
Other council notes:
Outbreak at Crest Support Services
Burghardt-Jesson informed council at the Feb. 2 meeting that the Middlesex-London Health Unit was reporting a COVID-19 outbreak at Crest Support Services. She said the health unit determined the outbreak was “focused” and the risk to the community was relatively low.
As of Feb. 2, there were 12 cases of COVID-19 at one of the supportive housing units at Crest. The mayor said the outbreak was contained, and Crest was working closely with the health unit. No Crest residents had been in the community since the outbreak.
“Everyone is currently doing well at Crest Support Services, and Crest is confident that the outbreak will be declared over within the next week,” the mayor said.
Council passed a bylaw to appoint Scrimgeour and Company as the municipality’s auditor for a three-year term.
Treasurer Kathryn Langendyk said in her report to council that, “Scrimgeour and Company have a long history with this township and have valuable historical financial information.” The company is the municipality’s existing auditor, but its contract expired on Dec. 31, 2020.
Langendyk said Scrimgeour and Company is now working on Lucan Biddulph’s 2020 audit.
Annual audit fees are $12,000, up from $10,395 in the previous contract. The fee will increase by the consumer price index in 2022 and 2023.