MD defers paying December firefighting bill

·1 min read

Discovering your home is on fire is something no one wants to have to go through, especially during the Christmas season. Unfortunately, that exact situation happened to an MD resident in the early hours of Dec. 27.

Thankfully, everyone was able to clear out before fire engulfed the house. Firefighters were able to control and eventually extinguish the blaze, but the situation brings up a controversial topic MD council has been grappling with since last summer: firefighting bills.

After the Snake Trail fire last summer left MD residents on the hook for $66,000, MD council requested re-evaluation of the current fee and billing structure established by Pincher Creek Emergency Services Commission.

Currently, PCSEC sends the bill directly to the municipality where the fire occurred. The municipality pays the bill, then invoices the landowner to recuperate costs.

MD council decided back in January to ask the commission to bill property owners directly, rather than relying on the municipality to play the middleman. Council also wanted PCESC to recover the costs of the Snake Trail fire and asked for a review of current fees.

The total cost for extinguishing the Dec. 27 fire was $12,000, which the MD received as an invoice from PCESC.

During its March 9 regular meeting, MD council directed administration to send correspondence to PCESC explaining the municipality will not pay the $12,000 bill until after the fee review process is completed.

A notification will also be sent to the affected landowner explaining the situation.

A copy of the Dec. 27 fire invoice can be found on page 37 of the March 9 online agenda package at http://bit.ly/Dec-fire.

Sean Oliver, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shootin' the Breeze