Sunscreen and sandwiches were among the operational expenses included in the $250,000 policing bill for the Boonstock Music Festival.
Details of police expenses from the August long weekend event are contained in documents the RCMP released this week to the Western News through an access to information request.
Mounties’ wages, which the B.C. government previously said accounted for three-quarters of the bill, weren’t detailed in the documents, which focused instead on costs for transportation, food, lodging and supplies.
Out-of-town officers were paid mileage if they travelled here in personal vehicles, plus per diems of $73.65 for meals and $17.30 for incidentals.
Among the largest expense claims was a $1,443.74 tab that included one Mountie’s round trip from Coquitlam, plus four days’ partial per diems and accommodation at the Penticton Lakeside Resort.
Boonstock president Colin Kobza said the RCMP hasn’t yet responded to his request for expense documents, so he couldn’t comment on those sent to the Western News.
“We have asked for a description — detailed description — of cost breakdown for Boonstock 2014, but I can’t comment on a document I haven’t seen yet,” he said.
One of the documents released this week states RCMP at Boonstock planned to spend $2,200 on food and refreshments for 46 officers, many of whom couldn’t leave their posts or the festival site to have a meal, but the total was raised to $3,000 when 35 extra Mounties were called in.
Those officers munched on 192 lunches that cost a total of $2,576.02, less than the $2,928 it would have cost had they simply claimed their per diems for mid-shift meals, according to another report.
The biggest lunch expense was a $1,572.06 sandwich order from La Cucina European Market.
Other expenses included:
— $452.84 for various types of disposable handcuffs
— $175.78 for coolers, tie-downs to attach the coolers to ATVs, ice and ice packs
— $134.40 for sunscreen
— $309.75 to have police cars cleaned, including removing blood and vomit from the interior
— $511.89 for Gatorade, water, pop and snacks
“We have an obligation to ensure that our members are hydrated and protected from the sun, so we put a lot of care and thinking into what do our members need during the busy, long, hot weekend,” said Staff Sgt. Kurt Lozinski, who handled the event for the Penticton RCMP.
Many officers were paid overtime since they were called in on days off, and Lozinski himself filed what appeared to be the largest single claim for a 17-hour shift.
“It certainly ended up being long, complicated days,” he said, in reference to issues like a suspected drug overdose death and gaps in private security at the festival.
To address those problems, the RCMP also called in members of the B.C. Sheriff Service, which billed $5,202.
Boonstock has yet to reimburse the B.C. government the $176,901.10 that represents the province’s 70 per cent portion of RCMP costs, which it shares with the federal government.
However, “the province and RCMP have been in contact with the promoter who has requested more information,” Justice Ministry spokesman Stuart Bertrand said in a statement.
Kobza said he’s not ready yet to discuss Boonstock 2015, which would be the second one held in Penticton after nine years in Alberta.
“Obviously, we’re working on a plan,” he said, “but we have no detailed description to give you.”