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Downtown Ambassador funding and hours cut

Funding for Mission's Downtown Ambassador program has been reduced and the hours have been further cut.

From Sept. 17 to the end of the year, two security guards will work four hours a day from Tuesday to Saturday with alternate Thursdays off and no coverage for Sunday and Monday. One guard will be available one hour in the evenings to cover closing time at the library from Monday to Thursday.

Service was already decreased in April and had to be reduced again in order to operate within the budget set by council.

In 2011, the downtown security program budget was $83,169, but council wanted to decrease costs by $40,000 this year, leading to 2,666 hours less  coverage.

The program budget in 2013 is $51,539, with funds coming from gaming.

At Monday night's council meeting, Mayor Ted Adlem also asked staff to investigate whether the district would get more "value for the dollar" if it hired a designated bylaw enforcement officer for the downtown, rather than continue with the security guards. The officer would work varying hours to continue providing support for the library.

Staff will compare the options, consult with the Downtown Business Association, and prepare a report to council.

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