Fresh­wa­ter does not have ad­e­quate fire pro­tec­tion

The Compass - - OPINION -

Dear edi­tor,

Dur­ing my term on the Lo­cal Ser­vice District com­mit­tee of Fresh­wa­ter, an­other mem­ber and I met with the Car­bon­ear Town Coun­cil to dis­cuss fire pro­tec­tion.

At that time I expressed con­cerns that Fresh­wa­ter doesn’t have the in­fra­struc­ture to ad­e­quately fight fires. There are presently no fire hy­drants and due to in­ad­e­quate pumper truck ca­pac­ity, the wa­ter sup­ply at a fire scene would only last ap­prox­i­mately 10 min­utes.

For this and var­i­ous other rea­sons, the Town of Car­bon­ear should not ex­pect us to pay as high an amount as their own more ad­e­quately cov­ered res­i­dents.

We de­cided, then, to do­nate funds di­rectly to the Car­bon­ear Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment through a fundrais­ing din­ner, which was what the Fresh­wa­ter Men’s Fel­low­ship had been do­ing in the past. Do­nat­ing di­rectly to the fire depart­ment would help with their op­er­a­tional ex­penses, as the town coun­cil does not in­crease the fire depart­ment’s bud­get.

Un­like may­ors and coun­cil­lors in in­cor­po­rated mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, Lo­cal Ser­vice District com­mit­tee mem­bers do not re­ceive any hon­o­rar­i­ums, and find it dif­fi­cult enough to col­lect all wa­ter and garbage fees on their true vol­un­teer time.

The Car­bon­ear Town Coun­cil could not tell me, at that time, ex­actly how much each Car­bon­ear tax­payer was pay­ing for fire pro­tec­tion.

The town re­ceives a mu­nic­i­pal op­er­at­ing grant, which comes from all tax­pay­ers of this prov­ince. The Car­bon­ear Town Coun­cil also re­ceives an­nual fees from the tele­phone and hy­dro com­pa­nies for the poles in Fresh­wa­ter.

In ad­di­tion, I also con­tacted an­other Lo­cal Ser­vice District, at that time, to see what they were do­ing for fire pro­tec­tion, and was in­formed they do­nated di­rectly to the vol­un­teer fire depart­ment in their area and not to the town coun­cil.

There are res­i­dents of Fresh­wa­ter who would gladly do­nate to the Car­bon­ear Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment, but not to the town coun­cil.

The bot­tom line is Fresh­wa­ter is not pro­tected and we will lose our homes if, God for­bid, we have a fire in our com­mu­nity.

Char­lene Sud­brink For­mer mem­ber Fresh­wa­ter Lo­cal Ser­vice District


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