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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Fire Board Set to Disband

Elmwood | by Robyn Garvey  

No deal between Brockton and West Grey, could leave some without fire coverage.

Time is running out before disbandment of the Elmwood Joint Fire Board.

There is still no Fire Service Agreement in place between Brockton and West Grey.

Brockton will not grant West Grey an extension to the July 31st deadline for the termination of the Elmwood Joint Fire Service Board.

Brockton has already granted West Grey an extension from December 31st of 2011 to March 1st and than again to July 31st.

Instead itís willing to continue to offer fire services to the residents of West Grey served by the Elmwood Fire Department on a fee for service basis.

That cost is pegged at 35 hundred dollars per week.

Plus the current MTO rates for equipment and fire fighter time on all call outs until the end of the year, or until such time a formal fire service agreement is approved by West Grey.

Brockton Mayor David Inglis says West Grey must first agree to these terms before the fire services can be offered.

He calls it a liability issue, as the Fire Protection and Prevention Act states that the only way a municipality should provide fire services outside of its boundaries is by way of an agreement.

If there is no Fire Agreement signed by West Grey, the Elmwood Fire Department has been instructed that they will not be covered by WSIB or Liability for calls within the Municipality of West Grey.  

Therefore they have been instructed that they will not be able to respond to ANY calls within the West Grey Coverage Area. 

Inglis is unsure of how West Grey will respond to Brocktonís temporary agreement of fee for service and fire call out rates.

Dissolving the Elmwood Joint Fire Service Board has been a very contentious issue for the two municipalities.

West Grey has yet to sign the Fire Service Agreement that Brockton drafted without West Greyís input back in May.

Fire service costs are a major stumbling block for West Grey.

Come July 31st, Brockton plans to assume sole ownership of the Elmwood Fire Department, which until recently had thrived as a joint municipal board for over half a century.



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