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Wellesley continues to hone new fire master plan for the township

Looking for more clarity, and perhaps some public input as the township drafts a new fire master plan, Wellesley councillors want changes before approving the document.

The proposed additions will be passed on to the consultant compiling the plan, but not all of them may make the final revision, township CAO Rik Louwagie told councillors meeting Tuesday night.

“In the end the recommendations will still be what the consultant recommends. However, if you have input that you want to go into this for the consultant to consider before they bring out their final recommendation, that’s what we’re after,” he said.

Coun. Peter van der Maas suggested there be a separate body to include input from the public.

“I would like very much for the report to consider the implementation of at least some sort of representation from the public on a committee that has input to the fire department,” van der Maas said, adding that the report could do with a better explanation of service delivery standards in the plan for those unfamiliar with them.

His suggestions were noted by Louwagie.

“The one thing is the service delivery that council sets. Council determines what our fire department will respond to and there’s a list of things that the last council approved. That is something that the consultant is recommending be revisited so that council is fully aware of the different service delivery that our fire department is undertaking, such as the medical calls and the fire responses, fire prevention, inspection, things like that,” Louwagie explained.

For his part, Coun. Herb Neher said he found the report confusing because recommendations were littered throughout the document, rather than compiled in one place.

“I’m totally confused a lot of times as to what do we have right now. They will make recommendations saying ‘well you’re already working on or you’re working at it.’ What I would like to see is a list of all the recommendations, what do we have, what are we lacking in these particular areas so that I know what I’m going for here,” Neher said.

He suggested the list would be helpful instead of going through some 40 pages to find all of the recommendations. That way they could meet with the fire department and discuss what’s been recommended compared to what’s been done or is being done in relation to the recommendations.

Louwagie noted such a list will come out in the strategy that the fire department creates once the fire master plan is approved by council.

“The recommendations that are in here shouldn’t actually be what council’s considering at this time. It’s more the information that leads up to that recommendation. What will happen with this document once we take any considerations back to the consultant, they’ll tweak it to their final recommendations and their final report. Then what would happen is council would adopt this in principle. Beyond that, the fire department staff will come up with a strategy of how to implement the recommendations that are in this document. They may say some of these are totally ridiculous for Wellesley Township and they would explain that to council,” Louwagie explained.

Councillors plan to continue with a discussion of the fire master plan at their next meeting.

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