Pitt Meadows council has approved building a new RCMP detachment on Harris Road. (Special to The News)

Pitt Meadows council has approved building a new RCMP detachment on Harris Road. (Special to The News)

Pitt Meadows council approves RCMP detachment at art gallery site

Building at Harris Road location would cost approximately $18.3 million

The City of Pitt Meadows has chosen a site for its proposed RCMP detachment at the Harris Road location currently occupied by the Pitt Meadows Art Gallery.

The city is still waiting for approval from the province to have its own police office, independent from the Ridge Meadows RCMP detachment shared with Maple Ridge.

The building will cost an estimated $18.3 million, according to a consultant’s report. Council approved the new building at its March 2 meeting.

READ ALSO: Pitt Meadows could pay over $18 million for RCMP office

It was the most affordable option among seven presented to council. Councillors could have chosen sites at the Pitt Meadows Athletic Park, to renovate the existing space at the Community Policing Office, or to build on city amenity lands. All of those options would have cost more than $20 million.

A consultant and city staff recommended the art gallery site at 12492 Harris Rd., which also has a boarded-up athletic building currently used as storage space. It is a central location on an arterial road, staff noted.

Coun. Nicole MacDonald called it a great location for high visibility, being close to businesses and noted it was the most cost efficient option. She said it will allow the family recreation centre more space.

“Great work, and moving forward I hope to see some Pitt Meadows Police patches patrolling our streets,” said MacDonald, who is a former Vancouver PD member.

READ ALSO: Historic agreement significantly expands Indigenous role in Lower Mainland policing

“This is council’s number one priority,” said Mayor Bill Dingwall. “It involves enhancing public health and safety, it’s about return on our investment, it’s about the quality of life and the type of policing that we want in Pitt Meadows.”

The city is still waiting for approval from the provincial Public Safety Minister and RCMP E Division to have its own detachment.

The art gallery could be relocated to the existing community police office, the consultants noted.

Have a story tip? Email: ncorbett@mapleridgenews.com

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