Freshwater does not have adequate fire protection
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