Kenora, Sioux Lookout and Pickle Lake are hoping the province has a solution to their high policing costs.

The mayors of three communities have a meeting set up with the new Solicitor General next week at the Rural Ontario Municipal Association conference.

The average cost of policing in these three municipalities is three times that of other communities in Ontario.

The coalition was formed ten months ago and since then they have met with officials from the OPP, ministry staff and the minister on the years-long crisis.

They have developed options and discussed possible solutions to bring policing costs in line with the rest of Ontario, but the province has not proposed any firm resolution to their demands.

“We are cautiously optimistic that Minister Kerzner will be coming to the table with a solution”, said Sioux Lookout Doug Lawrance.

“This issue is not about the quality of OPP service, which has been excellent.  This is about the financial burden on our local taxpayers which is unsustainable and has been so for many years. Our communities are relatively small, but our police costs are extraordinarily high.”

“Reducing the cost of policing so that we are in line with other Ontario municipalities is a top priority for Kenora Council,” said Kenora Mayor Andrew Poirier.

“The current cost formula unfairly penalizes taxpayers for expenses that are out of our control.”

Pickle Lake Mayor James Dalzell said, “We need a long-term solution from the provincial government. This is what I am expecting from our meeting with the Solicitor General.”