Fire chief re­sides in Fresh­wa­ter

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE -

Ac­cord­ing to Davis, Fresh­wa­ter cur­rently owes the town for part of the year 2008 and all of 2009 and 2010. That brings the to­tal out­stand­ing amount ow­ing to $11,860.

The is­sue arose at the Oct. 18 reg­u­lar Car­bon­ear coun­cil meet­ing. Two days later, and act­ing on a sug­ges­tion from the lo­cal ser­vice district, Car­bon­ear sent a let­ter to all house­hold­ers in the com­mu­nity.

Re­fer­ring to the last re­sort of hav­ing to dis­con­tinue ser­vices, the town told its neigh­bours it “ does not wish to take this ac­tion,” but stresses that Fresh­wa­ter cit­i­zens must pay their share of the costs, “as do res­i­dents of Car­bon­ear.”

Coun . G l a d y s Me r c e r de­scribed the fee as “ not an un­re­al­is­tic amount.”

The town has re­quested a meet­ing with the Fresh­wa­ter com­mit­tee to dis­cuss the is­sue.

John E. Par­sons, chair­man of the Fresh­wa­ter Lo­cal Ser­vice District, de­clined com­ment when con­tacted last week.

He said mem­bers of the com­mit­tee had met the night be­fore and agreed not to speak pub­licly un­til they had a chance to com­mu­ni­cate with Fresh­wa­ter res­i­dents.

The com­mit­tee plans to draft a let­ter to house­hold­ers, out­lin­ing the his­tory of the fire pro­tec­tion fee is­sue.

Ser­vice in­ad­e­quate

Fresh­wa­ter res­i­dent Char­lene Sud­brink, a for­mer mem­ber of the lo­cal ser­vice district com­mit­tee, expressed con­cerns about fire pro­tec­tion ser­vices in a let­ter to The Com­pass ( see Page A4). Be­cause the com­mu­nity does not have a mu­nic­i­pal wa­ter/sewer sys­tem, it does not have fire hy­drants.

“ Due to in­ad­e­quate pumper truck ca­pac­ity,” she writes, “ the wa­ter sup­ply at a fire scene would last ap­prox­i­mately 10 min­utes.”

She feels the Town of Car­bon­ear should not ex­pect Fresh­wa­ter res­i­dents to pay as high a fee for pro­tec­tion as their own, more ad­e­quately cov­ered, cit­i­zens.

Fire Chief Ed Ka­vanagh, who re­sides in Fresh­wa­ter, ac­knowl­edged the wa­ter sup­ply is­sue.

He says the so­lu­tion to that is to have a por­ta­ble hy­drant sys­tem, which would pro­vide a con­tin­u­ous wa­ter sup­ply from Fresh­wa­ter Pond and other wa­ter sources to the trucks at a fire scene.

Ka­vanagh sug­gested that so­lu­tion to the lo­cal ser­vice district, which would be re­spon­si­ble for fund­ing the sys­tem, but he didn’t get a re­sponse.

The last time he went to pay his bill to the lo­cal ser­vice district, Ka­vanagh said he was told they were no longer col­lect­ing the fire pro­tec­tion fee, so he asked them to put it to­wards other ser­vices pro­vided to him.

Ka­vanagh said Fresh­wa­ter res­i­dents risk the pos­si­bil­ity of higher in­surance premi­ums if the ser­vice is dis­con­tin­ued.

Ka­vanagh said the depart­ment’s re­sponse time to an emer­gency in Fresh­wa­ter is the same as it is around Car­bon­ear.

Mean­while, of the 80 calls the fire depart­ment re­ceived last year, only two were from Fresh­wa­ter — both grass fires.

The last struc­tural fire the depart­ment re­sponded to in the com­mu­nity was a garage fire in 2003, which claimed the life of a man.

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