Fire Services Q&A
What will happen after October 23, 2015?
Fire service will continue after October 23, 2015. We are currently working with the fire service providers in Hantsport, Brooklyn, Walton, Summerville, and Mount Uniacke to ensure service areas currently covered by the Windsor Fire Department are maintained.
What areas will be affected by this change?
Areas that are currently serviced by Windsor Fire Department (other than within the Town of Windsor itself which will continue to be served by WFD) will be serviced by another station or stations. This would include areas such as Falmouth, parts of Mt Denson, Garlands Crossing, Three Mile Plains and properties along the Chester Trunk 14.
If Windsor Fire Department is providing my fire service now, who will provide it after October 23, 2015?
Under an automatic call out system, the first responder could come from any station. We are working with the Fire Chiefs of the other providers to review the fire boundaries and will have exact details for you in the coming weeks. We will share this information as soon as it is confirmed.
Will my home or business insurance rates go up as a result of this change?
We are reviewing all of the fire boundaries as necessary based on National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommended rural fire service response rates and those accepted by the insurance industry. We believe we can meet the service level provided by the Windsor Fire Department, which means that there should not be any increase in insurance rates overall. However, that is a decision made by the insurance industry, not the Municipality.
What determines my insurance rates?
As reported in the Chronicle Herald on August 18, 2015, according to Ms. Amanda Dean, Atlantic vice-president for the Insurance Bureau of Canada, availability of fire service is “very important but it’s only one of the many, many factors that go into home insurance or business insurance premiums.”
In a follow up with the Atlantic Vice-Presidents statement in the Chronicle Herald, she gave the following factors, among others, that go into calculating home insurance premiums:
• your claims history (of greatest importance),
• the age of your home,
• the type of construction (i.e. building materials used),
• whether it is a single family home or multiple family unit,
• whether there is a home based business occurring on the property, or a commercial business of any sort,
• the type of heating.
What else goes into insurance rates?
We understand three of the factors considered in establishing fire insurance rates include:
1. Hydrant protection – if you currently have hydrants close to your property, this change in service provision is not a factor. If not the Apparatus rating (#2) applies.
2. Apparatus rating – the ability of the apparatus assigned to your area to deliver 200 gallons of water per minute over a 20 minutes (residential) or 400 gallons of water per minute over 20 minutes for industrial areas.
3. If your property located within an 8 kilometer radius of the nearest fire station for residential properties or 5 kilometer radius for commercial properties. A property more than 8 km from the nearest fire station may pay an increased premium.
If I call 911, will the response time be different after October 23, 2015?
Depending on your location to the nearest assigned fire station, your response time may be different but we anticipate being within the current range of responses delivered by Windsor Fire Department. We do not anticipate any significant change in response times and in some cases, response may be enhanced by new substation location and automatic aid from the other established stations. Once we have fine-tuned these boundaries, we will share this information with you. After October 23, response to emergencies will come from one of our current stations located in West Hants or through the sub-station of Brooklyn located in the Three Mile Plains. In all cases, responses from the sub-stations will be supplemented by apparatus from our established fire stations in West Hants.
Will my taxes go up as a result of this change?
Taxes have been set for 2015/16 fiscal year and the bills issued. A new budgeting cycle will begin in December and will be presented to Council for approval in April 2016. It is not possible at this time to determine if the tax rate will change as a result of this change or any other factor affecting the Municipality.
Why can’t you just co-operate and reach an agreement?
West Hants and the WFD have tried for many years to resolve this issue. The recent mediation process was the latest attempt to cooperate and reach a solution. Unfortunately, significant differences regarding protecting the public’s interest in public expenditures on fire equipment and services continue to keep the parties from an agreement.
Letter to Residents re: Fire Services
Dear Resident of West Hants:
For many years, the Municipality of West Hants and the Windsor Fire Department have tried to resolve issues relating to the administration and oversight of the delivery of fire services to a number of residents of West Hants. The last signed contract occurred in 2009. Throughout, our priority has always been to ensure that all residents of West Hants receive fire service that is fair and equitable and this has not changed.
Following a lengthy and emotional dispute, the Municipality of West Hants and Windsor Fire Department entered into an Interim Agreement in June 2014 to allow for resolution of issues by mediation and to continue to use the Department’s services on terms in the Agreement. Mediation processes began in August 2014. In order to take the emotion and troubled past between Windsor Fire Department and Council out of the bargaining, the Municipality used its lawyer and new CAO to attempt to reach an agreement which they could objectively recommend to Council as a reasonable one. After much effort, the Municipality’s negotiators concluded from the discussions with Windsor Fire Department’s Executive that Windsor Fire Department was not willing to enter a contract on reasonable terms that provided appropriate recognition of the investment by West Hants tax payers in existing and new fire equipment.
The mediator had been selected from a list provided by the Department of Municipal Affairs and was chosen with the agreement of both parties. Although a final resolution was not achieved, the independent mediator delivered a report to both parties in July 2015 which contained what she felt was a reasonable compromise for both parties. West Hants Council accepted the recommendations in the report and offered a contract to Windsor Fire Department to implement all the recommendations contained within the report. Windsor Fire Department declined.
The Windsor Fire Department instead put forward two options to West Hants, one of which Council accepted. The option extended by Windsor Fire Department was to continue the Interim Agreement for 20 months, and delay negotiations until after the next municipal election in October 2016.
The Windsor Fire Department has since withdrawn this offer and provided West Hants with 60 days of notice that it will discontinue fire services as of noon, October 23, 2015.
It was Council’s decision, in order to avoid a legal battle trying to force an unwilling Fire Department to honour its offer of a 20 month extension of the Interim Agreement, to acknowledge with regret that fire services from Windsor Fire Department for West Hants as a primary responder in the central and south-western parts of the Municipality will end as of October 23. Both parties have agreed that mutual aid will flow in both directions, that is, West Hants fire service will support Windsor Fire Department in combating Town of Windsor fires, and Windsor Fire Department will continue their mutual aid support to the fire service within the Municipality.
Considerable contingency planning had already taken place by staff of the Municipality in the case that there was a withdrawal of service. Staff continues to working diligently to ensure a replacement service will be in place as of October 23, 2015. Our priority is to ensure a consistent level of service throughout the whole municipality.
Short-term plans have included establishing a temporary station located in close proximity to the Windsor/West Hants border and re-aligning fire coverage zones to ensure properties which are currently located within 8 kms to a fire station continue to meet this distance parameter. The Municipality is working with its other fire service providers who have agreed to accept and train interested volunteers, identify additional apparatus required and move to an automatic call out response protocol. At this time the Brooklyn Fire Department will manage the sub-station at the Windsor/West Hants border and all stations will provide mutual aid response to the Southwest Hants area.
We know you have other questions about what this means for you. A “Question & Answer” sheet which addresses some of the most pressing questions is available on our website or by request to the Municipal Office.
Despite what you may hear, we can assure you that public safety is not at risk. Fire services will continue for all residents of West Hants after October 23, 2015. Difficult decisions like this always generate rumours and misinformation. This is likely to increase in the coming weeks. Please check our website at www.westhants.ca where we will post the most up to date information as it becomes available and do not hesitate to contact our administration office or speak with your councillor.
We acknowledge the dedication of the individual fire fighters and the service they have provided to the Municipality over the years. Despite our organizational differences, these volunteers have served the residents of West Hants well and we appreciate and value their professionalism.
We will continue to communicate with you as plans unfold and would invite you to visit our website for additional information, or call us at (902) 798-6931 if you would like to speak to someone directly.
On behalf of West Hants Council,
Warden Richard Dauphinee
Special Election District 8 2015
The following are the unofficial results of the Special Election for District 8:
Paul Morton- 272 votes
Frederick W. Lawrence - 83 votes
Terri-Lynn Yeomans - 41 votes
Faye M. Hill - 16 votes
The Official Count will take place at the Sanford Council Chambers on Tuesday, August 25th, 2015 at 10:00a.m.
08-18-15 Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
WEST HANTS COUNCIL ACCEPTS NOTICE TO END FIRE SERVICES
Tuesday, August 18 2015 (Windsor, NS) – West Hants Council today announced that while it believes there is a breach of contract by the Windsor Fire Department (WFD) in refusing to honour the 20-month extension of the interim agreement, it has accepted notice by WFD to cease fire service on October 23, 2015.
Since the Fire Department has signalled its unwillingness to provide service beyond this date, West Hants Council accepted that closure is desirable at this point so that definitive plans to replace these services can be put in place.
“We have been trying to resolve this issue for many years,” said West Hants Municipality CAO Cathie Osborne. “Council agreed it is time we put this behind us and focus on putting short and long term plans in place to ensure residents of West Hants continue to receive fire services.”
Osborne said the priority is communicating with residents and working with the municipality’s other fire service providers to enhance service in the short term. Fire departments are located in Hantsport, Brooklyn, Walton, Summerville, Mount Uniacke and South West Hants Fire Society.
Longer term plans include locating a substation within the Municipality, purchasing equipment and recruiting and training volunteer firefighters.
“Our contingency planning looked at many of these issues last year, so we’ve already got a fair bit of work completed,” said Osborne. “We are confident that we can provide service by October 23 so residents can continue to expect timely and professional service.”
Council acknowledged the dedication of the individual fire fighters and the service they’ve provided for the last 60 years. “ Despite our organizational differences, these volunteers have served the residents of West Hants well and we appreciate and value their professionalism,” said West Hants Warden Richard Dauphinee.
The Municipality of West Hants and WFD entered into mediation August 2014. The mediator’s report was delivered to both parties in July 2015. Council accepted the recommendations in the report and offered a contract implementing the recommendation, but WFD did not. WFD has also refused to make the report public.
CAO, Municipality of the District of West Hants
08-17-15 Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, August 17, 2015 (Windsor, NS) - West Hants Council is disappointed to learn that the Windsor Fire Department does not intend to honour its offer of July 24, 2015 to extend the fire services provided to residents of West Hants for a 20-month period. The offer was accepted by Council on August 11, 2015.
Council has been advised that at a meeting of the Windsor Fire Department membership on August 14, 2015, a motion was passed to withdraw service as of October 23, 2015.
West Hants’ Council acceptance of Windsor Fire Department’s proposal of July 24 was in spite of the Windsor Fire Department’s rejection of the recommendations of a mediator upon terms for continuing the fire service. The mediator, Jennifer Davis, was chosen by agreement of West Hants and the Windsor Fire Department and is a mediator employed with the Province of New Brunswick who had previously mediated a fire services dispute in that Province to a successful resolution.
The Municipality has requested that the report of the mediator be released; however, agreement has been refused by the Windsor Fire Department. Agreement of the parties is required under the terms of mediation before the report can be made public.
On August 11, 2015, Council approved the option to extend service from the June 2014 interim agreement for 20 months at an annual cost of $513,000.
The reversal by Windsor Fire Department goes against its commitment to provide service for 20 more months as an extension to the Interim Agreement. This corporate decision does not reflect the dedication and commitment of the many individual volunteer fire fighters whose devoted service to the residents of West Hants has taken priority over organizational and tactical bargaining issues.
West Hants Council and staff are committed to taking appropriate steps to ensure residents continue to receive high quality fire service beyond October 23. A further release will be forthcoming in the next few days regarding next steps, including Council’s response to this most recent development
CAO, Municipality of the District of West Hants
08-12-15 Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 (Windsor, NS) - In June 2014 the Municipality of West Hants and the Windsor Fire Department entered into an interim agreement to agree on a process to try to resolve their differences after the Windsor Fire Department gave notice of their intent to stop providing fire services to the residents of West Hants. With the assistance of the Department of Municipal Affairs the parties agreed to an independent, neutral mediator and a separate arbitrator to work through differences and reach an agreement suitable to both parties.
The parties met with the independent mediator over the past nine months but the mediation process did not result in an agreement, however, the mediator did provide a confidential report outlining the details of what she believed could be a reasonable settlement. This information was presented to Council on June 23, 2015 and Council unanimously agreed to accept the recommendations of the mediator and instructed the Mediation Team to advise Windsor Fire Department of their willingness to enter into an agreement based on the mediator's recommendations.
Windsor Fire Department did not accept Council's offer to accept the mediator's recommendations and, instead, provided the Municipality with two proposals. Council has chosen "Option B" and the Windsor Fire Department was advised of Council's decision following the adoption of three motions last night. The first motion was to accept Windsor Fire Departments Option B which basically extends the June 2014 interim agreement for 20 months at an annual cost of $513,000.
The Municipality believes the actual operating costs to be far less than that, and that the Windsor Fire Department has been accumulating cash funded by West Hants’ ratepayers. Under the interim agreement the parties are allowed to arbitrate the true amount owing between the parties, without being committed to the $513,000 figure as a correct reflection of the annual value of the services delivered. The second motion therefore instructs staff to begin the process of arbitrating under that agreement to recover the overpayment for fire services.
The final motion of Council was to give notice to Windsor Fire Department of the Municipality's intent to replace the services currently provided by Windsor Fire Department to the Municipality of West Hants with an alternate fire service at the expiry of the 20 month period.
Members of the public serviced by the Windsor Fire Department are advised there should be no change in the level of service or personal financial impact. West Hants is committed to taking appropriate steps to replace the level of fire service received by residents currently served by Windsor Fire Department beyond the 20 month period in keeping with the current services received by all West Hants residents.
West Hants Council would like to publically acknowledge the professional fire services our residents have received over the past years. It is with regret that Council has had to arrive at this decision. Council and staff remain dedicated to establishing an efficient, effective and accountable public service.
CAO, Municipality of the District of West Hants
Community Forum - August 12th
MUNICIPALITY OF THE DISTRICT OF WEST HANTS
NOTICE OF POLL
Special Municipal Election District 8
The Municipality of the District of West Hants will hold a special election for a Councillor to represent District 8, Upper Falmouth – Mount Denson on Saturday, August 22, 2015.
Electors may vote between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., at the locations listed below or at the advance poll. Advance polls will be held on Saturday August 15, 2015 and Tuesday, August 18, 2015 between the hours of 12:00 noon and 8:00 p.m.
CANDIDATES: Faye M. Hill
Frederick W. Lawrence
ADVANCE POLL LOCATIONS
August 15, 2015 - 12:00 noon – 8:00 p.m.
Polling District 8A and 8B Falmouth Community Hall, 147 Falmouth Back Rd.,
August 18, 2015 – 12:00 noon – 8:00 pm
Polling District 8A and 8B West Hants Ground Search & Rescue,
821 Highway 1, Mount Denson
ORDINARY POLLING DAY LOCATIONS
August 22, 2015 – 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Polling District 8A West Hants Ground Search and Rescue,
821 Highway 1, Mount Denson
Polling District 8B Falmouth Community Hall, 147 Falmouth Bach Rd.,
POLLING DISTRICT DIVISIONS
Polling District 8A consists of the roads: Aberdeen Beach Road, Apple Tree Road, Highway 1, Landry Lane, Lighthouse Road, McKinley Road, Shurman Road, Soldier Road and Spears Road.
Polling District 8B consists of the roads: Avonview Court, Ben Jackson Road, Bishopville Road, Bog Road, Castle Fredrick Road, Coach Road, Country Club Lane, Curry Road, Davidson Road, Dudley Park Lane, Dyke View Lane, Eldridge Road, Falmouth Back Road, Falmouth Dyke Road, Grey Mountain Road, Halewood Drive, Hanson Road, Mines Road, Old Coach Road, Old Post Road, Payzant Bog Road, Pleasant Street, Sangster Bridge Road, Town Road, Valley View Drive and Wilewood Drive.
Some roads may cross district boundaries. You may confirm your polling division by contacting:
Rhonda Brown Chrystal Remme
Returning Officer Assistant Returning Officer
Phone: 902-798-6908 Phone: 902-798-6931
NOMINATIONS OPEN - Municipal Special Election District 8
TAKE NOTICE that the undersigned will accept nominations for the following office in the Municipality of the District of West Hants for which an election will be held on the 22nd day of August, 2015. Nominations shall be filed at the office of the Returning Officer, Municipal Building, 76 Morison Drive, Windsor-West Hants Industrial Park between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on nomination day which is Tuesday, July 28, 2015 or by appointment during office hours in the five business days preceding nomination day.
One Councillor for Polling District 8 – Upper Falmouth – Mount Denson
Dated at 76 Morison Drive, Wentworth, Nova Scotia, this 30th day of June, 2015.
Information for Candidates can be found in the PDF below or a paper copy can be obtained at the West Hants Municipal Office, 76 Morison Drive, Windsor.
By-law Enforcement On-Call Guidelines - June 12, 2015
By-law Enforcement Officers employed with the Municipality of the District of West Hants will not normally respond to after-hour calls or complaints unless the call involves an event which meets the description of an emergency. At no time will a By-law Enforcement Officer respond to a call occurring between 12 midnight and 7am.
After hours is defined as hours occurring outside of the 8:30 to 4:30 time frame, Monday to Friday, excluding holidays.
An emergency is defined as a serious, unexpected and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action
Type of Complaints:
Dogs complaints- Instances were a dog has been alleged to have been involved in a serious incident resulting in injury to person or other animal and the dog is under the effective control, the By-law Enforcement Officer may attend the scene to remove the animal or make arrangements for the animal to be removed.
If requested by a Policing Agency, the By-law Enforcement Officer will respond to assist in the detention and removal of the dog, but only as long as the policing agency is in control of the scene.
Dangerous or Unsightly Complaints- Regular hours only.
Illegal dumping- Regular hours only. If in progress, callers should be directed to contact their local policing agency.
Illegal burning- Callers should be referred to their local fire service and/or the Department of Environment
Welcome Residents of Hantsport
Warden Dauphinee’s Statement on Dissolution of Hantsport
The Municipality of the District of West Hants is very pleased with today’s NSUARB announcement that the Town of Hantsport will become part of the Municipality of West Hants. We have been involved in the process all along with a number of discussions, studies and hearings. We are pleased to help our neighbours and welcome all 1100 of them.
Today we will celebrate with them, but tomorrow the work of achieving the results envisioned during the process will begin.
Over the next few weeks the transition committee, under the coordination of John Morash, will oversee the tasks that need to be completed. Some items need to be completed prior to the dissolution date, while others may take longer to implement. The intent is to carry them out as soon as possible and to ensure a smooth transition to a new governance structure.
Council and staff look forward to working with the Town of Hantsport Council, staff and residents to transition into one efficient and effective community. In the short term, staff are committed to ensuring, as much as is possible that there is no change in service delivery. Town hall will remain accessible to residents at its current level and residents will continue to see staff working throughout the community.
At some time in the near future a special recognition event will be held to recognize the valuable contributions made by current councillors to provide a chance for staff and residents to say thank you for all their hard work over the past few years.
The NSUARB’s decision and all information, reports and studies associated with the application are available on the NSUARB website at www.nsuarb.novascotia.ca and can be found by searching for Hantsport or case number M06209 under the Cases and Evidence tab at the top of the page.
West Hants Recreation Summer Programs 2015
Ready to have a fun filled summer with West Hants Recreation? We are offering a variety of different programs that will fit the interest of your child.
Our weekly summer camps are packed full with fun activities for everyone, including: theme days, sports, crafts, games, activities, day trips and more!
Summer camps are open to all children attending elementary school in the fall ages 4-11 years.
Taking Smart Steps to Reach Your Wellness Goals
This is a FREE educational event with a special speaker from the Canadian Diabetes Association.
Participants will leave this interactive, hands-on workshop with a customized goal plan and insight on how to maintain their wellness goals for the long term.
Snow Removal Operations 2015 - 2016
Municipality of the District of West Hants in conjunction with the Brooklyn Volunteer Fire Department
Supply of One (1) New 100 Foot Rear Mount Platform Fire Apparatus.
*Please note, an addendum has been added to WH15-001. The closing/opening date of the tender is now June 18, 2015
Download Tender document: WH15-001 (988.72 kB)
Supply of One(1) Current Model Year Custom Rescue Pumper For the Brooklyn Volunteer Fire Department
*Please note, an addendum has been added to WH15-002. The closing/opening date of the tender is now June 18, 2015.
Download Tender document: WH15-002 (1.05 MB)
Irishman's Road Recreation Site - Countryside Trail System Phase 1 - Tender#REC 06-15
Irishman's Road Recreation Site - Multi-Purpose Trail - Trail System Phase 3 - Tender #REC 11-08-15
Compensation, Benefits and Entitlements Review for the Municipality of the District of West Hants RFPWH15-04
Review of Information Technology Services Methodology for the Municipality of the District of West Hants RFPWH15-05
PARKS AND OPEN SPACE PLAN FOR THE MUNICIPALITY OF WEST HANTS - RFP REC06-08-15
The Municipality of the District of West Hants is seeking proposals from qualified consultants for the preparation of a Parks and Open Space Plan.
This ten (10) year plan will serve as a framework to ensure sound planning, quality development, practical maintenance operations, community stewardship and sustainability of our parks and open space properties within West Hants.