Prince Albert city council hopes to have a new Community Safety Initiative program in place by the end of January, but the plan needs a few wrinkles ironed out before then.
City administrators presented details about a $25 rebate Motion Sensor Lights program for residents purchasing the motion sensor lights during Monday’s meeting. However, that plan was sent back to the department for further review after several councillors expressed concerns about the lack of pricing options.
Mayor Greg Dionne said they need more information about how much the motion sensor lights will cost before making a decision. The City has meetings planned with two suppliers—a major retailer and a wholesaler—about possible giveaways and price reductions.
Without knowing that information, Dionne said it doesn’t make sense to hold a final vote. He promised that the negotiations would be quick, and reiterated plans to have the program in place by early 2021.
“We don’t want to delay,” Dionne said after the meeting. “We want to do it now. We know what we want, so I think you’ll see it roll out in the next couple of weeks.”
Most councillors declined to support the original motion, which would have sent the plan to the Planning Advisory Committee for further debate. That committee has rarely met since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, and most of the City’s elected officials felt that wasn’t going to change any time soon.
The Motion Sensor Lights program is based on a similar plan in North Battleford, where residents received a rebate for purchasing the lights. Roughly 600 North Battleford property owners participated in it.
Craig Guidinger, Prince Albert’s planning and development director, said it’s hard to judge just how successful the motion sensor lights are at reducing crime. However, he acknowledged that they do make people feel safer, and that’s something worth remembering.
“It will be somewhat difficult to measure if these motion lights actually do make our back alleys safer, but I do certainly respect that feeling safe is a big aspect of that,” he said during the meeting.