After a joint North Frontenac-Addington Highlands Council meeting last Friday at Barrie Hall in Cloyne, it appears that concerns about equipment reserves for the joint Kaladar Barrie Fire Department (KBFD) have been laid to rest.
The meeting was called at the request of North Frontenac (and Mayor Ron Higgins in particular) to address funding for the replacement of the Rescue 5 vehicle at an estimated cost of up to $315,000.
Both Councils agreed to approve budget submissions of $281,119 being added to the Vehicle/Equipment Reserve in 2017.
The Councils also approved an allocation of $110,000 ($55,000 per Township) for the next nine years (2018 to 2026), with the amount required to be reviewed on an annual basis when the KBFD Asset Management Plan Tangible Capital Asset Replacement Schedules are reviewed as part of the annual budget process.
The budget in general was also approved as presented in draft #2 permitting the KBFD to have all the equipment, personnel and training required to provide the core services as set by Councils in the establishing and regulating bylaw.
The Kaladar Barrie department is an anomaly in Ontario because it is managed by two different townships in two different counties, but since the department pre-dates the municipal amalgamation process in 1998 and serves a single community on either side of Hwy. 41 it has persisted through successive councils for almost 20 years. Occasionally differences in the way North Frontenac and Addington Highlands run their townships has caused friction from time to time, however.
“North Frontenac has had concerns that the Joint Fire Committee (JFC) hasn’t put enough money away, but we’ve put in $281,000 to buy a rescue vehicle,” said Addington Highlands Reeve Henry Hogg.
“It’s something we have to do,” he said. “It means a tax increase but it has to be done.
“It’s as good as we can get. It’s always that way.”
“I think it went fairly smoothly,” said Addington Highlands Fire Chief Casey Cuddy of the meeting.
“Both Councils were brought up to speed.” Cuddy lives in North Frontenac but serves as Fire Chief for Addington Highlands and for the KBFD.
“I feel good about how it’s gone,” Higgins said. “It’s comforting to me that Councils addressed errors in asset management.
“I just wanted assurance that Councils agreed.”
Councils also agreed to have the JFC review the agreements as required and to revisit the Tangible Assets Replacement Schedule in 2017 with respect to the options available.