Enniskillen looking for a fair fire deal

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Petrolia/North Enniskillen firefighters on Churchill Line July 23.

Blake Ellis/Local Journalism Initiative

Enniskillen Township is literally paying for Petrolia’s growth when it comes to the funding arrangement for the Petrolia and North Enniskillen Fire Department and Deputy Mayor Judy Krall wants to talk to her urban counter parts about it.

Krall recently told council while Enniskillen Township pays for 40 percent of the costs of the fire department, the percentage of calls received is not hitting that 40 percent threshold. Krall believes rural taxpayers are footing the bill for the growth in Petrolia.

Enniskillen Township Council agreed at its May 1 meeting to request a meeting with the Town of Petrolia to discuss whether the funding arrangement should be changed to better reflect the current situation.

Krall says the percentage of calls in Enniskillen over a period of eight years hovered between 23 and 32 per cent of all the fire calls.

The lowest percentage was in 2016 when there were 23 per cent of calls in Enniskillen with 27 calls in the township, compared to 88 calls in Petrolia
The highest percentage was in 2020 with 32 per cent of calls being from the township with 41 calls in Enniskillen and 88 calls in Petrolia.

There were 45 calls in Enniskillen in 2022 with 110 calls in Petrolia, good for 29 percent of calls from the township.

Krall points to statistics showing the population in Petrolia has jumped substantially in the last census compared to its neighbouring municipality. Petrolia had 6,013 residents in 2021, compared to 5,742 in 2016, while Enniskillen had 2,825 residents, rising from 2,796 in 2016. There are a total of 8,838 residents between the two municipalities, with 68 percent living in Petrolia.

Armed with statistics from 2015 to 2022, the Enniskillen council will make its case the percentage of calls the fire department responds to do not match what the municipality is paying, hoping to forge a new agreement which is better for Enniskillen residents.

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