During its last regular session before the summer break, East Hawkesbury Township council reviewed two suggestions in the monthly fire department report. One was for creation of “an emergency/large purchase savings account” for the department to anticipate surprise demands on future budget needs for the fire department.
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The proposal calls for making small monthly deposits to the account and adding any department surpluses at the end of each operating year. The goal is to provide the department with funds available if needed for any emergency equipment repairs or to use as deposits on future major equipment purchases.
“Under our current budget,” the report stated, “we operate very comfortably, as long as everything is running smoothly. However, if a large piece of equipment breaks and/or unexpectedly needs replacing, then it would be hard to absorb that cost through our budget.”
The report also noted that department staff are working on presentations to make to council in future on setting up special budget plans for a new rescue vehicle and also a new fire hall proposal. The latter will include examples of fire halls that serve communities comparable in size to the township.
The other suggestion is the report concerned the feasibility for mutual aid fire service agreements with three other neighbouring municipalities.
The proposed mutual aid agreements would be with Rigaud, to help during fire call situations in the villages of Chute-à-Blondeau and Saint-Eugène; and with the departments of Alexandria and Sainte-Justine-de-Newton, to assist at situations in the Village of Sainte-Anne-de-Prescott. East Hawkesbury Township’s fire àfighters would be available to assist those departments if a situation required.
Township staff are looking into how such mutual aid agreements might work, based on other examples.