Fire Fighting Services
Res #: 6-03A
Responses Received: No
Departments: Matters Pertaining to SARM
WHEREAS, in many cases an RM and town have established a joint fire association for the purpose of supplying fire suppression services to ratepayers; and
WHEREAS, quite often smaller urban municipalities, such as resort villages and villages, do not have the financial resources to own and operate a fire department due to the costs associated with keeping it up to a certain standard as well as meeting with all Occupational Health and Safety standards; and
WHEREAS, these small urban municipalities regularly require the services of the neighbouring municipalities which do own and operate a fire department; and
WHEREAS, in certain circumstances the small urban municipality would prefer that the ratepayer that received fire protection services be invoiced directly for fire fighting costs rather than the municipality;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that SARM lobby the Provincial Government to amend The Urban Municipalities Act, 1984 to permit invoicing the ratepayers within an urban municipality for fire protection services, provided the urban municipality has entered into an agreement with their neighbouring municipality for fire protection services and that the agreement identifies that the individual property owner be charged; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the urban municipality be given the legal authority to add any outstanding fire fighting charges to the taxes at the end of the year.
Response from the Honourable Ron Osika, Minister of Government Relations:
The department will consider this request. There are a number of potential implications. For instance, there may be an increase in building insurance rates. There may be difficulties in the collection of such charges from individuals who may choose not to insure for fire fighting charges or who do not pay the municipality, particularly for individuals who are not property owners. Although this authority would increase options for smaller municipalities that cannot provide adequate fire protection through their tax base, some may see this as a downloading of general municipal costs to individual property owners. The department will discuss this request with SUMA and SARM and determine an appropriate solution.