(Tara Kirkpatrick/File photo)

UCPR mayors finalize fire dispatch agreement

The council of the United Counties of Prescott and Russell, on Wednesday, finalized a deal for fire dispatch service in the counties.

The deal will see most municipalities in Prescott and Russell buy fire dispatch services from Hawkesbury. The United Counties, beginning in 2018, will finance fire dispatch for every member municipality. Fire dispatch services provide communication between 911 dispatch, in North Bay, and local firefighters.

The council has been examining fire dispatch options since 2014. After a report found Ottawa’s fire dispatch service would be less expensive compared with Hawkesbury’s, many municipalities began looking into making switch. However, in September 2016, Ottawa’s service said it could not accommodate Prescott Russell municipalities for another year. With agreements with Hawkesbury expiring in early 2017, new contracts had to be negotiated. The mayors decided UCPR CAO Stephane Parisien would negotiate with Hawkesbury on behalf of the rest of the municipalities (except Clarence-Rockland, which already uses Ottawa’s service).

The new agreement is in effect from March 1, 2017, until February 29, 2020. In 2017, each participating municipality will be billed for Hawkesbury’s service. But in the following years, fire dispatch will be financed by the counties for every municipality, including Hawkesbury and Clarence-Rockland, which will continue to be a customer of Ottawa’s service.

Council documents say the cost of fire dispatch for 2017 will be:

$42,994 for Hawkesbury

$25,838 for East Hawkesbury

$136,155 for Russell

$93,460 for The Nation

$28,246 for Casselman

$61,504 for Alfred-Plantagenet

$62,480 for Champlain