© Frank Gale photo
A few Long Gull Pond homes and cottages.
After failing to come to an agreement with the Town of Stephenville, the Indian Head Rod and Gun Association has plans to provide its own fire protection services.
At a recent general meeting of the Stephenville town council, it was noted in a new business section that effective July 1, the town would discontinue fire protection services to properties at Long Gull Pond.
Mayor Tom O’Brien said the town has been providing fire protection for that area for quite some time “free of cost” and after putting forward a request to the Indian Head Rod and Gun Association – the owner of the property at Long Gull Pond – the association declined the town’s proposal and said it wanted to make alternate arrangements.
Association member Ivan Luscombe said the Town of Stephenville requested a fee of $300 per household per year for fire protection and garbage collection.
Mr. Luscombe said the association didn't believe that would be fair to the many owners of cottages, who only spent a limited amount of time in Long Gull Pond.
"What is unique about our situation is our association is not-for-profit and is run by volunteers,” said Mr. Luscombe. “While we have people live here year round, many are just summer cottages for people who have permanent homes elsewhere, so they don't want to be paying for services all year round when they are only here perhaps two weeks a year.”
"What is unique about our situation is our association is not-for-profit and is run by volunteers.” Ivan Luscombe
The association's plan is to contract out its garbage, which is already being done on Regatta Drive. It is looking at putting its own equipment in place for fire protection with a tow unit equipped with a water pump and hoses that can be run to the pond.
There are 70 plus cottages at the location, in addition to a number of trailers in the summer months that are located in a campground area at the end of the pond.
"While we don't pay taxes to Stephenville, there are benefits to the town from the people living here as they all shop in Stephenville, some have businesses in Stephenville and homes have been built from supplies bought in the town," he said.
Mr. Luscombe said the association didn't have the opportunity to meet with all members of Stephenville town council to explain its situation. He feels perhaps a different type of arrangement could have been made.
"We don't want to be bad friends with Stephenville and we'll do our own thing up here," Mr. Luscombe said. "We don't bother anybody and we'll take care of things ourselves if the Town of Stephenville doesn't want our money."