by Tristan Turner
Fire Chief Brad Boddez presented an overview of the new Fire Services Bylaw that he had been working on in conjunction with Town Administration. Council is expected to vote on the Bylaw at their June 23 meeting. The presentation took place at council’s regular Committee of the Whole meeting June 16.
The Fire Services Bylaw has not been updated since 1998, something that Boddez hopes will change to update the legislation with modern fire services.
The new legislation contains a stipulation that fire services provided by the Morinville Fire Department offer services exclusively in Morinville, except when there is a contract or agreement with other municipalities, as is the case with Sturgeon County.
The Bylaw also offers a clearer fees schedule that will see some permits and fines increased. Additionally, the new legislation would make the Town, and perhaps Community Peace Officers, responsible for giving fines when residents pose a threat to fire safety. This would potentially allow the Town to put liens on properties or add fines to tax bills in more extreme situations. Chief Boddez thinks this will be positive for the Department, saying that he thinks firefighters should focus on their duties rather than delivering fines.
The legislation also allows for new types of permitted controlled burnings and reclassifies the risk of fireworks from high to medium risk fire hazards.
Council may decide on this new legislation at their next meeting of Council June 23.