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Wellesley inks new fire protection deal with Mapleton

[From File]

The Wellesley Fire Department will see its revenues rise a little bit as it ups the fee for providing emergency assistance to neighbouring Mapleton Township.

A rate increase in the fire protection agreement between the two fire departments was approved Tuesday night by Wellesley council.

In 2015, Mapleton Township paid $152.48 per year, per property. Now, that fee will rise to $159.90 per property. The agreement was also renewed for three more years.

The new agreement also outlines a fee increase of two per cent every year until the current agreement is over in December 2018.

There are 62 properties listed in the agreement, mostly located on Wellington Roads 12 and 86

Wellesley fire chief Andrew Lillico was on hand to answer questions about the agreement.

Coun. Peter van der Maas wanted some clarification on rates and whether an agreement like this was standard between townships in the area.

“So every call Wellesley is on, they make $159.90?” he asked. “Is this the same rate we receive from a neighbouring constituency?”

Lillico explained that the fee was on a per property basis, and that the agreement was fairly unique.

“The flat rate fee is per property on an annual basis,” he said. “That is based on the cost of fire services on the ratio of residential properties that are covered in (Mapleton), compared to the number of properties that are covered in the Township of Wellesley to make it equitable. We have no fire protection agreement with other municipalities that provide service into our townships. We receive mutual aid from other municipalities which is on a reciprocal basis, but that is cost neutral.”

Coun. Herb Neher questioned whether it was standard practice for fire protection agreements to be negotiated between fire chiefs rather than council.

In his experience, Lillico says that is how it is done, but municipal council is not left out of the process.

“It is quite common that the chiefs discuss the agreements back and forth. We have another with Wilmot and since I came here in 2009, it has been handled through the fire department.” he said. “Woolwich has one with Mapleton as well and it is handled through the fire department.  It is up for approval by council, and the CAO was involved along the way.”

The fire protection agreement already in place between Mapleton and Wellesley includes stipulations on how many emergency vehicles will be sent out on a fire call in the neighbouring township, extra charges for fire fighting chemical agents and rules surrounding further amendments.

The agreement can be amended any time in the future with 60 days notice and council approval.

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