With the Town of Yarmouth announcing plans to lay off their dispatch workers, the Municipality of Argyle plans to work collaboratively with its fire chiefs to solidify an alternative service.
In a press release, the municipality says it acknowledges – as do the fire departments – that the fees paid in the past were well below market rates, and it understands the financial decision that was made by the town. The municipality says they are disappointed to lose a valuable service for the region but are optimistic that another dispatch service will be secured as soon as possible.
“Our fire departments could not afford such a drastic and quick increase, in the middle of a fiscal year where tax rates were already set,” said Argyle Warden Richard Donaldson. “Our council takes exception that the town, through its mayor, would suggest tax increases to volunteer fire departments outside of their jurisdiction.
“While we agree the funding was unfairly tilted, fixing the problem in less than a year was simply not achievable. The funding inequity was clearly an issue for years. The decision to lay off dispatch personnel was not one forced on the town, rather a decision of the town.”
The warden continued, “Our volunteer firemen and women have spoken strongly against this decision, as they value the service delivered by the town dispatch workers. There are countless examples of how their intimate knowledge of our communities made a meaningful difference in fire incidents.
“We sincerely thank Peter Poirier, Corey Burke, Jeff Crowell and Rob Lowe for their support of our volunteer firemen, keeping them informed and safe time and time again.”