Town signs "historic" fire agreement with CNL

by Vance Gutzman

The Town of Deep River formally signed on to a long-term fire services agreement with Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) Monday morning.

The agreement is for three years, expiring March 31, 2021, though both parties are slated to review its structure by September 30, 2020, for the purposes of either extendings or negotiating a new agreement.

The three-year period is aligned with CNL’s current government-owned, contractor-operated (GoCo) contract with Atomic Energy of Canada Limited.

The agreement is based on Deep River paying CNL an annual fee of $690,000 (plus HST) for its services.

But because the agreement doesn’t kick in until June 1, that cost will be rendered down to $575,000 for the period ending March 31, 2019, bringing the town’s total projected costs for fire services to $1,530,606 for 2018.

The town has paid CNL an estimated $70,000 over the course of the interim agreement the two parties signed at the beginning of last December.

For the remaining two years of the new agreement, with the town paying CNL the full $690,000, its total costs for fire services are projected to be $1,580,606 on an annual basis.

In return for all that, CNL will provide Deep River with a fire chief, deputy fire chief, fire prevention officer, CNL officer firefighters and CNL firefighters to an annual maximum of 14,000 personnel hours.

The agreement supports a return to on-duty coverage at the Deep River fire hall 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

CNL will also provide training services for Deep River’s fire personnel, in terms of both maintaining current required qualifications and any additional necessary training.

The town, meanwhile, will maintain its current roster of five active full-time fire fighters.

Over the life of the agreement, the municipality also anticipates hiring 24 volunteer firefighters in a move towards a composite fire service.

A special council meeting was held Monday morning to give formal passage to a bylaw entering the municipality into the agreement with CNL.

Shortly afterwards, a formal signing ceremony took place in council chambers involving members of council and CNL representatives.

“It’s been a long road to get to this position,” Reeve Glenn Doncaster remarked at the special council meeting.

The town, he said, had set its sights on three main goals with the agreement – to end up with a fire service that’s functional, safe and affordable.

“I believe we’ve achieved two of those goals,” Doncaster said.

> for the full story, pick up a copy of the May 30 NRT…