Council voted to postpone first reading of Bylaw 364, a borrowing bylaw to fund the purchase of 221 Beaver Street, until the April 25 meeting. Council also asked for additional information on a business plan for projected revenues and expenses for the building, potential future tenants, the current shortfall of office space and staff housing in town, and the status of leases for the building.
Council approved entering into a mutual aid agreement with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry for wild land fire response. The agreement also includes assistance in mock fire training scenarios, free educational materials for firefighters and the ability to have equipment put on standby during periods of high and extreme fire hazard.
Council approved a three-year trial to keep a pump truck from 1992 in use as a dedicated wild land fire response unit. The truck will be retired from structural fire response as per the fire department’s capital replacement plan and following industry and Fire Underwriters Insurance standards. While no longer useful for structural fire response, the truck is still useable for wild land fires if needed.
Council received a briefing on the fire department’s annual report. In 2015, the department responded to 527 emergencies, surpassing the call volume of 499 emergencies in 2014. Medical calls (39%) continue to represent the largest proportion of the call volume. Alarm bells and motor vehicle collisions represent just under 50% of the total call volume. The department is actively working with local businesses to reduce the number of false fire alarm bells.