Plans on hold

New emer­gency ser­vices cen­tre won’t be in 2016 Summerside bud­get

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - THE PROVINCE - BY NANCY MACPHEE

A new emer­gency ser­vices cen­tre for the City of Summerside won’t be in the 2016 bud­get, said Summerside Mayor Bill Martin.

Plans to con­struct a mul­ti­mil­lion emer­gency ser­vices cen­tre, which was hoped to house the city’s fire depart­ment along with am­bu­lance ser­vices, were shelved in 2015, al­though the pre­vi­ous coun­cil said such a cen­tre was a high pri­or­ity.

That coun­cil had set aside $250,000 in its 2014 bud­get to be­gin the plan­ning process for the new fire hall, in­clud­ing a fa­cil­i­ties study, with the hope to be­gin con­struc­tion in the spring of 2015. News the project didn’t meet el­i­gi­bil­ity re­quire­ments un­der the New Build­ing Canada Fund put the cen­tre on hold.

The mayor said the city, at this point, isn’t will­ing to bor­row to fund the project.

“What we’re hop­ing to do is to at­tract part­ners to the project,” he said.

“We cer­tainly haven’t ex­hausted all av­enues, par­tic­u­larly now with the new fed­eral gov­ern­ment.”

The bud­get plan­ning process is still on­go­ing, and Martin wouldn’t hint as to what res­i­dents can ex­pect in the city’s fis­cal plan for 2016.

“All bud­gets where pub­lic funds are at risk need to be scru­ti­nized very care­fully. There is a per­cep­tion and a mis­con­cep­tion... that I per­son­ally cam­paigned on re­duc­ing the city’s debt. I did not. I cam­paigned on man­ag­ing the city’s debt,” said the mayor. “All de­part­ments have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to be pru­dent and to be as ef­fi­cient as pos­si­ble. I ac­tu­ally have a staff here that is about half the size of a lot of other cities, a lot of other ur­ban cities our size.”

The city runs a staff be­tween 120 — at this time of year — to 160 in the sum­mer.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.