Fire pro­tec­tion go­ing up

Har­bour Grace raises an­nual fee for Bris­tol’s Hope res­i­dents

The Compass - - EDITORIAL - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON COL­UMN

A cou­ple of weeks af­ter Har­bour Grace threat­ened to pull fire pro­tec­tion from Bris­tol’s Hope and dou­ble the an­nual fee, the town elected to take a dif­fer­ent ap­proach with its small neigh­bour.

At last Tues­day’s coun­cil meet­ing, a mo­tion was ap­proved to raise the an­nual fee charged to res­i­dents of Bris­tol’s Hope for fire pro­tec­tion ser­vice from $50 to $75. This fig­ure would re­port­edly fall in line with what other towns are charg­ing un­in­cor­po­rated com­mu­ni­ties.

Har­bour Grace Mayor Terry Barnes and other rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the town met with mem­bers of the Bris­tol’s Hope De­vel­op­ment As­so­ci­a­tion ear­lier this month. The Har­bour Grace Vol­un­teer Fire Brigade serves the un­in­cor­po­rated com­mu­nity, which re­port­edly has 134 homes.

“They felt there was a lot of older gen­er­a­tion in Bris­tol’s Hope,” Barnes told fel­low coun­cil mem­bers at last Tues­day’s meet­ing. “Some peo­ple can’t af­ford to pay, and some peo­ple won’t be able to pay.”

At the pre­vi­ous coun­cil meet­ing held Sept. 29, the town sug­gested it would in­crease the fee to $100 with an un­der­stand­ing that if any res­i­dents failed to pay, ser­vice to the com­mu­nity would be pulled.

But af­ter meet­ing with the de­vel­op­ment as­so­ci­a­tion, Barnes felt a fig­ure in be­tween the cur­rent amount and $100 would be suf­fi­cient.

“Some peo­ple can’t af­ford to pay, and some peo­ple won’t be able to pay.” Mayor Terry Barnes

Coun. Hay­ward Blake was the lone coun­cil mem­ber to op­pose the mo­tion to charge a fee of $75.

“We had an orig­i­nal mo­tion there, which I sup­ported and still sup­port,” he said with re­gards to a mo­tion to charge $100 that coun­cil re­scinded dur­ing the same Oct. 13th meet­ing.

Re­la­tions be­tween the two com­mu­ni­ties have been a lit­tle prickly of late. Over the sum­mer, the coun­cil passed a mo­tion to ask the min­is­ter of mu­nic­i­pal af­fairs to amal­ga­mate Bris­tol’s Hope with Har­bour Grace.

Mu­nic­i­pal af­fairs re­jected that re­quest, not­ing it would not con­sider amal­ga­ma­tion with­out the full co-op­er­a­tion of Bris­tol’s Hope. Har­bour Grace made an iden­ti­cal re­quest to gov­ern­ment in 2013.

De­vel­op­ment as­so­ci­a­tion chair Richard John­son told The Com­pass res­i­dents “do not want to en­ter­tain the idea” or amal­ga­mat­ing with Har­bour Grace.

PHO­TOS BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON/THE COM­PASS

The Har­bour Grace Vol­un­teer Fire Brigade serves res­i­dents of Bris­tol’s Hope.

There are re­port­edly 134 homes in Bris­tol’s Hope, an un­in­cor­po­rated com­mu­nity nes­tled in be­tween Car­bon­ear and Har­bour Grace.

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