PORT McNEILL — Council codified an already existing “gentleman’s agreement” when it approved a motion to implement a Mutual Aid Fire Protection agreement between the Port McNeill and Sointula fire departments.
The agreement establishes command protocols and commits the departments to two joint practices each year.
It will be overseen by Regional District of Mount Waddington manager of operations Patrick Donaghy.
Asked how comfortable he was with the agreement, Coun. Aaron Frost, who is also a member of the PMFD, said the agreement was just paperwork to acknowledge a mutual aid policy already functioning between the departments.
“If we get a call to assist Sointula, only one Port McNeill pumper would be sent over,” Frost said. “The chief and deputy chief are dilligent; the Town of Port McNeill would not be left unprotected.”
Frost said the agreement is the latest in a series that includes formal agreements with the Port Hardy and Hyde Creek departments.
Costs incurred in the mutual assistance agreement between Port McNeill and Sointula, including ferry or water taxi transportation, would be born by the community requesting the assistance.
Council passed a pair of bylaws that will allow the Town to borrow up to $1,800,00 in anticipation of revenues to be received in 2012.
Bylaw 635 would allow the Town to borrow up to $600,000 from Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. Bylaw 636 would allow the borrowing of up to $1,200,000 from the Municipal Finance Authority.
The $1,800,000 total figure is based on 75 per cent of the total tax levy for 2012, the maximum amount allowed under the Community Charter. Money borrowed will be used for allowable operations and other expenditures and will be repaid by tax revenues received in the coming year.