Dawn-Euphemia fire plan raises concerns

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Dawn-Euphemia wants a fee for fire service agreement with Brooke Fire Service – a move that could save the rural municipality a fair chunk of change.
And Brooke-Alvinston politicians are wary of the move.

For 60 years, Dawn-Euphemia has contracted fire services from Brooke-Alvinston and the Municipality of Chatham-Kent for areas its own department does not cover.

In Brooke-Alvinston, the arrangement calls for Dawn-Euphemia to pay 11 per cent of the operating costs based on a formula that calculates the value of the property in the region Brooke Fire covers. This year, that could be about $27,450. The municipality also pays a portion of the equipment costs. This year, the township has set aside about $75,000 for equipment costs in Brooke-Alvinston.

But Dawn-Euphemia’s deal with Chatham-Kent for coverage in the Bothwell area works on a fee for service basis. CK puts a value on what it costs to run a pumper or a tanker per hour and charges Dawn-Euphemia when they’re called to their community.

According to budget documents, Dawn-Euphemia has not had calls in that area and therefore hasn’t incurred any costs since 2019.

Recently, Mayor Al Broad went to Brooke-Alvinston council asking for the same fee for service arrangement. “This would simplify things. It is so easy. There would be no assessments to have to go through, there would be no budgets, there would be no back and forth, trying to request information and finding things out,” he says.

But Brooke-Alvinston Deputy Mayor Frank Nemcek was concerned.

“We have to supply a bunch of trucks, we have to train all the firemen. We have to have a fire hall and we’re only going to get money if there is a fire in your district.”

Mayor Dave Ferguson pointed out CK is a much larger municipality and the cost of firefighting is spread out over the entire community.

And he says Dawn-Euphemia’s share of the cost recently dropped from 18 per cent to 11 per cent.

Brooke-Alvinston staff are expected to have an analysis of the idea Thursday.