North Huron signs fire agreements - Jan. 3, 2019
BY DENNY SCOTT
North Huron Township has signed fire service agreements with Morris-Turnberry and Central Huron that include changes to the way fire service will be billed for the municipalities.
After working with North Huron staff members and their counterparts in Morris-Turnberry and Central Huron, North Huron Fire Chief Marty Bedard announced the agreement had been finalized at council’s final meeting of 2018.
The agreement has changed the way municipalities are charged for the operational costs of the department, relying on weighted assessments, while charges for individual calls will be borne by the specific municipality the incident is in.
Bedard said that he had taken the calls from the previous five years and that expense worked out to approximately $500 per call.
Bedard said that equipment reserves will also be capped at a contribution of $100,000 per year, down slightly from previous years, and if further funds for equipment are necessary, the partner municipalities will be approached for additional funding.
While Central Huron and Morris-Turnberry have signed on for the service, Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh’s protection agreement remains in effect until 2020. At that point, Bedard said he would approach that council with the updated agreement.
North Huron Council approved the new agreement.
Morris-Turnberry Council was pleased with the changes that were made to the agreement to share fire services with North Huron.
Administrator Clerk-Treasurer Nancy Michie said that the changes were in favour of Morris-Turnberry, featuring clearer wording, a change in the billing model and other modifications. She recommended that council pass the agreement, which will see North Huron provide fire service in portions of Morris-Turnberry for the next five years.
Council did approve the changes, with Mayor Jamie Heffer saying he was happy that the agreement included all council’s requested changes.
He said that, after previous negotiations regarding fire with North Huron, he was satisfied with the outcome of these negotiations.
During the previous negotiations for fire coverage, North Huron found itself at odds with Morris-Turnberry, Central Huron and ACW, whose councils originally balked at price increases for the service.