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North Huron Responds to Fire Issues

Friday May 14th, 2010

NORTH HURON RESPONDS TO FIRE ISSUES

Wingham, ON -- North Huron responded today to media stories regarding the cost of fire services in Morris Turnberry and the proposed fire services contract with Central Huron.

Morris Turnberry Mayor Dorothy Kelly has stated that the cost of fire services being provided by North Huron to her residents is $300,000 annually.  In reality, there is a two year agreement in place between the two municipalities for $205,000 annually.

"We've responded to several fires in Morris Turnberry since January 1st and the feedback we've received from many residents is that they feel well served by the Fire Department of North Huron," said Reeve Neil Vincent. "The agreement between the two municipalities gives them certainty, peace of mind, and stable insurance rates."

With respect to Central Huron, it is true that the proposed fire services agreement with North Huron is $105,000 annually. Under the previous Blyth and Area Fire Board arrangement, the six year average cost for Central Huron was $51,000. There was an annual levy, plus an annual amount for fire calls, plus a portion of capital purchases. Under the new arrangement, there are no levies, no fees for fire calls, and no requests for capital items. The proposed amount is all inclusive and North Huron assumes all liability.

"North Huron has committed additional resources for extra volunteer firefighter training, fire prevention, education and inspections, a full-time Fire Chief, and equipment and dispatch upgrades. These investments are necessary to ensure we're legally compliant and well positioned to prevent and suppress fires in North Huron and in the surrounding municipalities," said Reeve Vincent. "Reeve Dysktra and I, and our CAOs, have had many positive discussions over the past several weeks about concluding a formal fire services agreement. I'm optimistic that we can come to an agreement over the next several weeks to ensure that businesses and residents in the northern part of Central Huron receive full fire protection services."

Currently, there is an interim fire services agreement between North Huron and central Huron that expires on May 31st. There have already been preliminary discussions about extending this agreement if necessary.

For more information, contact:

Gary Long, CAO/Clerk

519-357-3550 x.24