Armstrong politicians fuming over lack of communication

Armstrong council is doing a slow burn over not being consulted by Spallumcheen about an open burning incident involving the fire department.

Township council recently voted 3-2 to decrease an original $2,000 bill for the fire department’s services – which had already been reduced 50 per cent to $1,000 – down to a $200 bylaw infraction fine given to a township property owner for starting five large slash piles on his property during open burning season in October 2011.

The owner was given the bill after the fire department was called out to a report of a forest fire.

The fire department is a joint function of the city and the township.

“We’re a little concerned about all of this talk on the fire department going on without any consultation with the City of Armstrong,” said Paul Britton, a city councillor.

“We’re a little concerned that a fine can go from $2,000 to $1,000 to a $200 slap on the wrist without ever calling us.”

The bill was issued for the fire department’s service, for using its equipment to douse two of the large slash piles and for the property owner not tending to the burning piles.

The city wants to discuss matters at the next joint council meeting in April.

“I think we’re asking for correspondence be sent to Spallumcheen, advising that before any decisions are made we have the opportunity to discuss things with partners in the program,” said Coun. Ryan Nitchie.

“I think that’s the best approach.”

Armstrong council unanimously supported the motion to send a letter to the township advising them of its concerns, and to have the matter placed on the joint council agenda.





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