Enniskillen fire costs up 18 per cent

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Blake Ellis/Local Journalism Initiative

Enniskillen Township needs $100,000 more to fund its two fire departments. This will boost the 2024 levy 18 per cent to $650,000, compared to $550,000 in 2023.

“Although the timing and the accurate cost of the future capital expenditures are not known, it is clear that the $550,000 fire levy will not support the operating expenses and the proposed capital expenditures,” said Enniskillen Township Administrator Clerk Duncan McTavish, in a report presented to council at its Feb. 20 meeting.

The 2024 operating budget of the Petrolia and North Enniskillen Fire Department will be $564,082, an increase of $95,744 from the 2023 budget, a 20.4 per cent increase.
The capital budget for Petrolia and North Enniskillen will also increase to $82,800 from $70,800 in 2023, a 16.9 per cent increase.

McTavish said the Petrolia fire department will not be presenting a multi-year capital budget to the municipality until the spring of 2024. The replacement of the tanker truck and the renovations of the fire hall’s washrooms are under discussion. Enniskillen Township Council has pledged to set aside $40,000 in 2024 for the washroom renovations. Enniskillen Township council said no to purchasing a $1.4 million combined tanker and pumper truck in 2023.

The 2024 operating budget for the Oil Springs and South Enniskillen has increased to $187,840 from $168,850 in 2023, an 11.2 per cent increase.

At the last fire committee meeting, there was also a discussion about the need for change rooms at the Oil Springs fire hall after an inspection by the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development.

A plan does need to be in place, but fire committee chair, Oil Springs Councillor Jordon Newport said Feb. 6, construction is likely a couple of years away.
Enniskillen Township covers 40 per cent of the Petrolia and North Enniskillen Fire Department budget and 78 percent of the Oil Springs and South Enniskillen department budget.