Queen’s University says it will make an annual commitment of $150,000 over five years to the City of Kingston, in recognition of the pressures being placed on some city services that occur as a result of unsanctioned gatherings. The commitment, totaling $750,000 over five years, comes as Queen’s launched a task force to address street parties in the University District.
“The university felt that a financial contribution to the City was an appropriate way to acknowledge and address some of the additional pressures placed on our municipal services throughout the year,” says Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane.
Over recent months, city and university officials have been grappling with how to address the street parties, which saw Kingston Police spend about $1 million in an attempt to control them in the months of September and October 2021 alone.
“Our universities, and our society, are grappling with significant social issues that require working together on strategies that will lessen the burden on the city and other social services. The challenges we face are complex and as members of the Kingston community, we are committed to doing the work alongside our partners required to introduce real and lasting positive change,” says Principal Deane.
While Queen’s University opted to create a task force to address the street parties, the City of Kingston proposed amending the Nuisance Party Bylaw in an effort “to cover enforcement costs incurred by the City in responding to and addressing a nuisance party.”
One of the changes would see warnings removed for property owners and billed $90 per officer per hour. City officials say that this cost is based on “an average hourly rate for staff costs inclusive of benefits, an hourly vehicle rate, and a 10% administrative overhead charge.”
This resulted in landlords pushing back against proposed changes to Kingston’s nuisance party bylaws, saying the changes would punish them for something over which they have no control.
This funding is separate from the $350,000 in funding that was previously announced by the university.