Fire service agreement reached

Rose Willigar
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Town, county sign 15-year contract

Fire service agreement reached

Parrsboro - Town and county officials gathered at Parrsboros fire hall on Oct. 29 to sign the fire protective service agreement between Parrsboro and the County of Cumberland.

Its been months of negotiations, but we (council) wanted to be sure the deal we signed was fair for both Parrsboro and the county, Mayor

Doug Robinson said.

The terms of the agreement include 50 per cent cost-sharing of defined operations costs, 50 per cent cost-sharing of defined capital costs, an effective term of 15 years, withdrawal notice requirements, beneficial ownership provisions and a dispute resolution mechanism.

The previous council worked diligently to ensure the best outcome possible for the town, the mayor said, as he noted that three of the outgoing councillors (Gleneida Canning, Lyle Yorke and Lloyd Smith) were present for the signing.

It may have taken longer than we had anticipated but the end result is an agreement that is acceptable to both our municipalities, Robinson said.

From our perspective we needed a cost-sharing formula based on actual costs rather than a specific payment amount each year. This helps to reduce our risk exposure to unanticipated cost increases.

Deputy warden of the Municipality of Cumberland, Ralph Welton, municipal councillors Ratchford Merriam of District 10, Eddie Gilbert of District Eight, John Reid of District Nine; CAOs Ashley Brown and Rennie Bugley; representative for Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Stephen Feist; county negotiation team member John Fredericks and Parrsboro negotiations team member John Henwood and Parrsboros deputy fire chief Aubrey Fenton were all present to witness the signing of an agreement they all played a role in achieving.

This agreement, in terms of long-term estimated costs and the term of the agreement itself, is consistent with the negotiation deals of the other three towns, Welton said, adding the county is comfortable with the 15 and 20 year cost analysis for fire service.

Organizations: Ratchford Merriam of District 10

Geographic location: Parrsboro, Cumberland, Nova Scotia

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