Towns sign on to Witless Bay's fire protection plan

·1 min read

Witless Bay CAO Pat Curran said the process on overhauling fire and emergency services is going well, with a majority of regional communities having come on board with an increased fee structure of $155 to help cover costs.

“I can confirm that, of our four regional partners, with respect to the fire fee structure, we have confirmation from three,” said Curran during the March 10 meeting of council.

Curran expected the fourth community, Mobile, would agree later that week.

“That’s significant, because it looks as though we will have a regional project for the consideration of our municipal capital works program, which means that we’ll be looking, hopefully, at 70/30 financing as opposed to 60/40 financing,” said Curran, referring to the borrowing structure shared with the provincial government.

Curran extended thanks to council and the other communities for their cooperation.

“We have had a lot of negotiations, but I think we’ve come out with an outcome that everyone is satisfied with,” he said.

With respect to the position of paid fire chief, Curran said there has been plenty of interest in the position, and as of that March 10 meeting, the town had received 22 applications.

“I’ve been looking at the resumes, and there are some very qualified people,” said Curran.

The posting closed on March 17.

Curran also suggested the town apply for provincial funding for fire equipment purchases.

“Anything that we can get by way of support will help offset some of the capital expenses in the 2021 budget,” he said. “So, anything that we can pick up under that particular program will help us.”

Council voted unanimously to apply for the funding.

Mark Squibb, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Shoreline News