UPDATE: Counties decides to keep POA courts open in Alexandria, Morrisburg

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CORNWALL, Ontario - The United Counties has shelved a plan to consolidate provincial offences court services in Cornwall, and will keep a pair of satellite operations in Alexandria and Morrisburg.

A report discussed at Monday's United Counties council meeting suggested there would be little impact to the judiciary that sits in both communities, as justices of the peace would simply sit in Cornwall.

And while consolidating the services would save a little money, and create greater efficiencies for staff, council decided it wanted to keep a "local service" available to people in the far reaches of the counties, said Warden Eric Duncan.

"This has been an item that has been discussed for years," he said.

Counties councillors felt that if a person receives a ticket in North Glengarry, or North Dundas, they faced an undue hardship in having to travel all the way to Cornwall for their day in court.

Provincial offences court deals with traffic infractions, for the most part.

While a multi-year has been signed to operate the satellite courts, Duncan said there are opt-out clauses if council decides to go in another direction.

"The new council (following the October election) could decide that...there are ways of getting out of the lease," he added.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys did not expressed concerns about consolidating court services in Cornwall.

It's unclear how much the move, if approved, could save counties taxpayers but Duncan said any figures would likely be measured in the thousands per year.

Organizations: United Counties council

Geographic location: CORNWALL, Alexandria, Morrisburg Ontario

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