New fire agreement talks to begin soon

By Matt Nemeth
July 11, 2017 - 5:49pm Updated: July 11, 2017 - 7:19pm

 

MEDICINE HAT, AB — Negotiations haven’t started yet between the city and Cypress County when it comes to a new fire service agreement.

The county gave notice they were terminating the existing deal in April after councillors voted unanimously to do so.

At issue from the county’s standpoint was the “significant” increase to the yearly retainer fee for city fire services says Ward 4 councillor Garry Lentz, who adds it was an increase the city wouldn’t budge on.

“We tried to arrange a meeting with our councillors that are on our fire services board and our CAO with the city, but our request was denied,” said Lentz.

The current contract will be staying in effect until the end of the calendar year.

The county is hoping to have something like a mutual aid agreement — which Lentz says is something they have with all of their other neighbouring municipalities except Medicine Hat — in place by then.

Medicine Hat Fire Chief Brian Stauth said Tuesday that he plans on speaking with Cypress County Fire Chief Kelly Meyer next week to find out what’s needed from both sides.

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