North Cowichan council is hopeful the new RCMP detachment will be ready by the summer of 2022.

Council gave the first three readings to a Temporary Borrowing Bylaw recently, whereby the municipality would pay its portion of the $48-million dollar facility in installments.

Mayor Al Siebring said the financing surrounding the detachment is similar to that of buying a new home.

“Generally speaking, when you build a house, if you do it from scratch, a lot of people I know start off by working off their line of credit to get the foundation poured and to get the little bits done,” said Siebring. “Then they get the full mortgage approved when they get the occupancy permit to move in. This is the same kind of thing as that, this is borrowing as we go for construction, and then we’ll do the full borrowing at the end.”

Siebring said the existing facility is showing its age and needs to be replaced.

“The detachment was built 40 years ago for staffing levels that were less than half what they are now, plus it’s in a floodplain, there are all kinds of issues with water and mould and other things,” said Siebring. “We went through this in the alternative approval process and we kind of explained why it was necessary and the majority of people in North Cowichan didn’t seem to have a problem with that, so we’re going ahead with it.”

According to North Cowichan’s website, the current detachment building was constructed in 1980 to accommodate 30 RCMP officers and support staff, there are currently 85 people working there.

The city had to go through a public approval process for the project, and less than five percent of those who responded were against the new detachment.

Siebring has said that, through a lease agreement, the Province and feds are responsible for more than half of the total cost over 20 years.