The future of the Inwood fire hall is up in the air after members of the Inwood Firemen’s Association tried to resolve a dispute over a lease in public.
The Firemen’s Association owns the building which the municipality uses to house the Inwood trucks and equipment. Until last year, when 16 firefighters quit in a disagreement over training, there was no question about where the equipment should go.
But when the majority of the department members quit, negotiations for a new lease for the municipality got rocky.
Janet Denkers, in a report to council July 11, says the firemen’s association didn’t like the terms of the municipal lease and sent back a revised agreement. Council turned that down three days later, in June.
Since then, she says, the association has not agreed to any further negotiations and the clock is ticking. The lease on the building expires in December.
Thursday, two members of the Inwood Firemen’s Association, Matt Pasut and Brian Podolinsky came to council to “negotiate in good faith…and hear first hand from councillors what the issues are..in an attempt to come up with a solution and maintain this vital service,” said Pasut.
But it was clear the relationship between council and the association is still prickly. “The negotiations will not be here tonight,” Mayor Dave Ferguson told the pair.
Ferguson added council could choose to find another location for the fire trucks or build a hall instead.
Pasut says the association was willing to allow the signage, but wanted the rest of the lease to remain the same for the next five years.
Council met privately after the meeting and emerged to say a negotiating team had been struck to deal with the lease. Pasut says the firemen’s association isn’t interested in negotiating behind closed doors. It had hoped to settle it Thursday.
In a message posted on Facebook, the association appealed to people in Inwood to contact their councillors to get them to seal the deal.
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