Fire protection going up
Harbour Grace raises annual fee for Bristol’s Hope residents
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motion there, which I supported and still support,” he said with regards to a motion to charge $100 that council rescinded during the same Oct. 13th meeting.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.
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.