County looking to protect current services

Raissa Tetanish
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UPPER NAPPAN - Negotiations between the fourth town and the county in regards to fire protection services are still ongoing, but the municipality is taking an extra precaution in case no solution can be reached.

UPPER NAPPAN - Negotiations between the fourth town and the county in regards to fire protection services are still ongoing, but the municipality is taking an extra precaution in case no solution can be reached.

During Wednesday's meeting of Cumberland County council, Counc. Ernest Gilbert moved a motion that a meeting between the county and the Town of Parrsboro be requested.

The motion, which carried with no objections but received a "hear, hear" from Counc. Kathy Langille, also expressed contacting Jamie Muir, the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, to ready a Ministerial Order "to prevent the cessation of fire protection services by the Town of Parrsboro to the area of the County presently serviced by the Parrsboro Volunteer Fire Department," Gilbert read.

While Parrsboro mayor Doug Robinson says he isn't really part of the negotiating team, he's still optimistic about the deal.

"I don't see why we can't reach an agreement," he said. "We have our approach and they have theirs.

"I think our approach is quite reasonable."

For the past few months, the town and county have been negotiating to reach an agreement on fire protection services, something that's been accomplished between the county and the three other towns - Amherst, Oxford and Springhill.

If Parrsboro weren't to agree to a joint council meeting the county is requesting, or the meeting should not result in the continuation of negotiations, the motion calls for an additional step.

"The County requests MLA Murray Scott and MLA Jamie Muir, to provide support in the resolution of the matter," reads the motion.

While Robinson feels the town's approach is reasonable, the municipality is of the opinion theirs is creative and addresses certainty for future funding levels.

That it "meets the needs of the residents in both municipalities, provide significant funding increase over current levels, and should provide the ability for the Town of Parrsboro to make significant service improvements and thereby achieving insurance premium reduction for residents of the Town and County," said Gilbert.

rtetanish@amherstdaily.com



Organizations: Cumberland County council, Parrsboro Volunteer Fire Department

Geographic location: Parrsboro, Nova Scotia, Oxford

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