Sherbrooke area fire levies remain unchanged

·2 min read

ST. MARY’S – The Sherbrooke and Area Volunteer Fire Department has voted to hold the line on fire levies charged to residents, and finalized its slate of officers for the fiscal year ending March 30, 2023.

The announcements last week followed decisions at the department’s annual general meeting March 29. According to the department’s secretary Neil Black in an email, “The fact that we are adjusting to life after the long lockdown that has been so tough financially and health wise certainly were factors in this vote.”

The levies will remain $65 for residential properties with dwelling and $70 for commercial properties with a structure.

Meanwhile, the following officers were elected for 2022-23: Fire Chief Wayne Auton; First Deputy Chief Farlie Carroll; Second Deputy Chief Kenny Pye; Third Deputy Chief Wayne Feltmate; Fourth Deputy Chief David Kaiser; Fifth Deputy Chief Brian Hallett; Treasurer Laura Banks; Training Officers Brian Hallett and Dana O'Connell; Safety Officers Kenny Pye and Dana O'Connell; and Secretary Neil Black.

At its annual general meeting on April 6, the Municipality of District of St. Mary’s estimated revenues of $158,904 from fire protection levies charged by the area’s eight volunteer fire brigades in the coming year, virtually unchanged from the year before. The municipality also approved operating grants to these departments of $52,000 for the period, also unchanged from 2021-22.

St. Mary’s fire brigades were among 340 community-based first-responder groups – including First Nations and volunteer fire departments, and ground search and rescue operations – to receive one-time grants of $10,000 from the provincial government this year.

The contributions announced on March 22 were part of a $3.5-million provincewide initiative to help these community-based organizations recoup any fundraising losses they may have incurred during the COVID-19 emergency.

Alec Bruce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal

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