Town Council agrees new five-year fire service contract with neighbours

October 1, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Mike Pickford

Orangeville has signed off on a new five-year contract to continue its firefighting operations in three neighbouring municipalities.

In what was the final decision made by this current Orangeville council, it was agreed that the Town would increase its fire rates substantially in 2018 – a move presumably made in reaction to the recent hiring of eight new full-time firefighters. Neighbouring municipalities will now pay $4,028 per call and $113 per hour for prevention, inspection and public education services in 2018 – a 24 percent increase from 2017.

Councillor Don Kidd was pleased with this new agreement. A long-standing proponent of increasing fire service rates for Mono, Amaranth and East Garafraxa, Coun. Kidd indicated he was happy to see these municipalities paying close to their fair share for a core emergency service.

“As everyone can see, this is a 24 percent increase in 2018. That’s huge,” Coun. Kidd said. “I have been lobbying council to bring this forward for years. We need a new agreement. Our neighbour municipalities aren’t paying enough. I’m pleased to see this going up considerably.”

The town has long provided fire services to Mono, Amaranth and East Garafraxa, with each community paying a pre-determined rate per call. Rates have traditionally been set over three- or four-year terms, but a one-year agreement was signed in early  2017, with rates of $3,248 per call and $91 per hour for prevention, inspection and education services.

During contract negotiations, it was determined that calls for service to surrounding municipalities made up approximately 21 percent of the total calls, on average, that the Orangeville Fire Department has responded to in recent years.

This five-year agreement calls for a further two percent increase in 2019, followed by an annual three percent increase up to 2022. In the final year of the contract, municipalities will pay $4,489 per call and $126 per hour for prevention, inspection and education. Deputy Mayor Warren Maycock, leading Monday’s council meeting in the absence of Mayor Jeremy Williams, noted the agreement had already been approved by Mono, Amaranth and East Garafraxa councils.

Coun. Sylvia Bradley was the only member to vote against the five-year plan, noting she “does not like the idea of tying the hands of Orangeville’s next council”. In the end, the motion to adopt the agreement passed 5-1.

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