By J.W. Schnarr
A proposed fire training centre for the area has been put on hold but will be revisited in 2016.
During their regular meeting on Jan. 13, Municipal District of Taber council accepted the 2015 capital and operating budgets proposed by the Regional Fire Authority. Included in the budget are a number of upgrades to equipment planned for 2015, but the training facility will not be among them. Deputy Reeve Dwight Tolton, who is a council representative of the RFA, said the cost of the proposed centre was prohibitive.
“We’ve taken the fire training facility out of the budget, because we felt that was a little excessive,” he said. “We can have another look at it once the water commission has dealt with that building. But that $80,000 price tag was a little too high at this time.”
The 2015 operating budget for the RFA has been set at $186,484.23. Those costs will be split between the M.D. of Taber (73 per cent) and the Town of Vauxhall (27 per cent), meaning Vauxhall will be on the hook for $50,350.74.
Among the purchases planned for 2015 are:
High visibility safety vest, $750;
SCBA (Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus) face masks, $3,200;
Dress shirts, $720;
Three new sets of bunker gear, $5,400;
LED work lights for wildland units, $1,500;
Vehicle radio repeater for Sierra 5-2, $3,500.
The 2015 capital budget was approved by the RFA for $15,000, which would be split 50/50 between the M.D. of Taber and Vauxhall. The budget was approved for the following items:
New janitorial sink, $1,500;
Movie projector and screen for the training room, $1,500; and,
New decaling for three fire trucks with chevron as per the National Fire Protection Association.
During discussion, Deputy Reeve Dwight Tolton said while he disagreed with the cost of the decals for the trucks, there was little option but to pay for them.
“That decal price, we’ve hashed that up and down,” he said. “That is the cost, this is the new standardization for fire trucks, so they really illuminate, and I think it’s a ridiculous number, but that’s what the cost is. The new truck will come with that, but it’s hidden in the cost of the fire truck. It’s just one of those new things.”
Municipal Administrator Derrick Krizsan informed council there was still one more item to be dealt with regarding the RFA, and that was planned upgrades to the Vauxhall fire hall to build sleeping areas and a common room for EMS to stay in while on duty in Vauxhall. The RFA has also recommended that the Town of Vauxhall increase the rent being paid by Alberta Health Services to house the responders once upgrades have been completed.
“Right now facilities to house EMS overnight is really insufficient,” said Krizsan. “The Regional Fire Authority has been discussing with AHS about renovating one or two rooms to create bedrooms and a sitting area. We have estimated costs to be $4,800 to $10,000.”