CORNER BROOK — The City of Corner Brook effectively served notice to unincorporated areas Monday night that it was implementing an out of jurisdiction response charge to recover costs associated with the Corner Brook Fire Department providing service outside its municipal boundary.
A motion to implement the cost recovery process was approved at Monday night’s council meeting. It was further resolved and passed that the process will apply to unincorporated areas.
“We’ve been providing that service for a good many years, and I’m of the opinion that as a fire department we should be providing that service,” said fire Chief Neville Wheaton. “But the residents of Corner Brook are now paying for that, but they won’t be in the future.”
He said the city has no legal obligation to respond to calls outside its boundaries, but is frequently called to respond to other jurisdictions.
The cost will apply to all types of calls, everything from structure fires to motor vehicle accidents.
Wheaton said on average the city fire department responds to between 17 and 20 such calls a year at an average cost of $1,000 per call.
The cost, he said, varies depending on the type of call and how long the department is out there for.
“The largest part of the cost would be that we bring in a second shift to cover off while the first shift is out,” said Wheaton.
Wheaton said the cost also includes consumables used during the call, everything from foam and absorbant materials for oil spills.
Areas that will be affected by the user pay system include Pinchgut Lake, George’s Lake, Spruce Brook, Humber Village and Humber Valley Resort.