**Correction – there were two motions voted on by council.  Both ended in a tie.  The first was for a $50 volunteer fee with no refund and the second was for a $25 fee and no refund.  So Council will start over on this debate at the next meeting

Fees for volunteer criminal record checks could be introduced in Fort St. John.

Currently, there is no fee for volunteers but, a 50 dollar one for businesses.

Yesterday City Council received RCMP information, which shows 1,732 criminal record checks were completed last year and in one three month period, over 21 percent of them were not picked up.

Since each check takes over 30 minutes to prepare, if 21 percent of them are not picked up, that translates into 70 lost employee hours.

So, the RCMP asked council to consider a new policy for the volunteer checks but, ran into a political impasse.

Two different motions were presented and in the absence of Councilor Bruce Christensen, both resulted in a tie vote.

Councilors Dan Davies, Larry Evans and Don Irwin all favor a fifty dollar fee for volunteers but, with a refund, once the criminal record check is picked up.

However, Mayor Bruce Lantz and Councilors Lori Ackerman and Trevor Bolin all feel there should be no refund, citing concerns about the amount of time city staff could spend on issuing them.

Since a consensus couldn’t be reached, the idea will be brought forward again at the next Council meeting in April.

Fort St. John is one of a handful of communities that still provide the service to volunteers at no cost.