Beaverlodge renews fire service, assessment agreements with county

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The Beaverlodge Fire Department will continue serving part of the County of Grande Prairie and the county will still provide assessors under renewed intermunicipal agreements.

Beaverlodge council renewed agreements with the county that expired at the end of December during its regular meeting Monday.

“The relationship and partnership with the county is extremely important to the Town of Beaverlodge,” said Jeff Johnston, town chief administrative officer.

The fire protection agreement is for the town’s department to provide fire protection services to certain areas of the west county.

It’s separate from the mutual aid agreement, under which the departments of the neighbouring municipalities provide assistance to each other for free.

The mutual aid agreement has no expiry date.

Under the fire protection agreement Beaverlodge agrees to supply firefighting services upon the request of a 911 dispatcher or the County of Grande Prairie Regional Fire Service chief.

The town is also required to shelter the county fire truck and provide firefighters to operate the county truck.

The county compensates the town for fire service to the affected areas, with the agreement setting the fee at $106,892 for 2021.

Johnston said the fire pro- tection agreement is typically renewed for five-year terms, but this time it will receive only a one-year renewal.

The county is undergoing a review that could affect how it works with Beaverlodge on fire protection, which is why the agreement isn’t being renewed for longer, he said.

The terms are unchanged from the 2016 iteration of the agreement, Johnston said.

Johnston said he received the updated version of the agreement from Dan Le- mieux, community services director last week.

The assessment agreement under which the county provides assessors’ services was set in February 2019 and also expired at the end of December. Johnston said the town and county are seeking to renew the agreement and the new version will be fundamentally the same.

The rate the county charges the town will be increased slightly, from $23.97 to $24.50 per parcel.

Johnston said the agreements ordinarily would have been renewed before expiration, but transition in town administration delayed this process somewhat.

The town and county’s other agreement to expire in late 2021, which provided County Connector busing, ended early after the county discontinued the service in August.

Brad Quarin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News