Although the official approval will have to wait until next week’s Council meeting, South Frontenac Council approved the purchase of 50 new Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) units and 150 spare air bottles at its Committee of the Whole meeting Tuesday nigh in Sydenham.
Fire Chief Rick Chesebrough said an opportunity came along to buy the state-of-the-art SCBA because the City of Kingston Fire Department bought units earlier this year and the company is allowing South Frontenac to piggy-back in on the deal.
Chesebrough said Frontenac Islands, Napanee and Loyalist municipalities are also considering taking similar offers and cost savings could be even higher.
South Frontenac had put $680,000 in its 2018 budget (yet to be finalized) for new SCBA but with the special offer the cost would be $572,991, Chesebrough said.
The total savings could be between $114,00 and $135,000 but the municipalities have until Nov. 30 to decide. The South Frontenac budget isn’t scheduled to be finalized until at least Dec. 5 (or more likely Dec. 19).
“This would mean that our mutual aid partners would all be using the same apparatus which allows for interoperability,” Chesebrough said.
He said the advantages of these new SCBA are increased firefighter safety with built-in thermal imaging cameras, lightweight bodies, increased air supply, 15-year warranties, built-in telemetry for future blue tooth connection, rechargeable batteries and serviceable tunnel straps for complete decontamination.
Let the budget process begin.
South Frontenac Treasurer Louise Fragnito presented Committee of the Whole with the draft capital budget for Corporate Services, Protective Services, Recreation and Planning Tuesday night with a total of $782,000 for those departments.
“The items presented are in line with the target capital budget within the 10-year long range financial plan previously presented with amendments to maintain a minimum $10-million reserve balance as well as a 2.0 per cent taxpayer impact,” she said. “The draft capital budget represents the initial listing received from all department heads incorporating input from committees and Council.”
“Each line of the budget is subject to Council approval,” said CAO Wayne Orr.
“Some of these lines are a little bit out there for my taste,” said Mayor Ron Vandewal. “For example the tennis court fencing at Point Park — we had that before and it didn’t work out.”
Of course these figures represent only the non-public works projects and costs.
The public works budget, which represents the bulk of municipal spending, will be presented Oct. 24.
The combined budget is scheduled to be tabled Nov. 7, with delegations on the budget document being heard Nov. 14.
There is a special Saturday Council meeting Nov. 18 for budget deliberations.
The budget could be approved as early as Dec. 5 or as late as Dec. 19.