Bay Bulls to support Witless Bay’s request for fire fee increase

·2 min read

The Town of Bay Bulls has officially voiced its support for a newly minted Witless Bay fire department multi-year capital works and human resources spending plan.

The plan, built into Witless Bay’s 2021 budget, allows for the building of a new regional fire hall, new equipment, and new training grounds, along with investments in training and recruitment, along with a full-time fire chief.

To help cover the cost, Witless Bay raised its own residents’ fire emergency fees from $97 to $180, and requested other towns serviced by the fire department to do the same.

On Monday, Bay Bulls voted to accept the plan, which for residents means an increase of emergency fees.

In years prior, residents paid a fee of $90, plus a $7.32 fee for the 911 phone service. Residents will now pay a total fee of $155.

The motion read that the town would provide regional support for the multi year investment plan for the Witless Bay Fire Department, provided it is reviewed on an annual basis, and that the regional advisory fire committee provides financial oversight for the annual fire department budget.

A number of other items were postponed due a lack of quorum, as both Deputy Mayor Wendy O’ Driscoll and councillor Joan Luby were absent, leaving only Mayor Harold Mullowney, councillor Eric Maloney and councillor Patrick Coady in attendance.

“We could have easily cancelled tonight’s meeting, I suppose, and try for a later date. But I know myself I’m juggling another five or six meetings for the end of week,” said Mullowney.

“Even looking at the fact of what’s happening with COVID, I rationalized that we don’t know what could happen by the end of the year, so at least we got some business done tonight.”

Mark Squibb, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Shoreline News