Sidney will be looking elsewhere for fire dispatch service after the District of Saanich recently announced a doubling of their prices. (File)

Sidney to shop around for fire dispatch services

Town signs three-month extension with Saanich after costs expected to double

Sidney will stick with Saanich for fire dispatch services for another three months while the Town looks for alternatives.

Facing an almost doubling of costs associated with having the District of Saanich provide fire emergency dispatch services over the next two years, Sidney is now looking for other service providers to keep prices lower.

However, that will take time. Town staff recommended to council recently that Sidney stay with Saanich for another three months ending March 31, 2018, while alternatives are sought for the long term.

Sidney has contracted with the District of Saanich for fire dispatch service for the last 10 years. A five-year renewal period ended on June 30, 2017, just as Saanich was in the middle of a service review, making another long-term renewal not available.

Last month, Saanich met with the municipalities it provides the service to, outlining a new slate of costs that would be passed on, following their external review.

In a letter to the Town of Sidney, Saanich’s Chief Administrative Officer Paul Thorkelsson said the review fund that the District has been “significantly subsidizing this program at varying degrees for each participating agency.”

Saanich has now decided to charge more for the service, to try to recover its own costs. As a result, other municipalities are pulling out, including Esquimalt.

Sidney may join the ranks of other communities to seek other dispatch services with its recent decision.

Councillor Tim Chad said he believes there is “much discussion going on,” with other municipalities considering their options as well.

Mayor Steve Price, the new chair of the Capital Regional District, noted the CRD “is actively looking at consolidating fire dispatch services into one unit using EComm,” which could aid in any further negotiations with Saanich.

Chad noted that work is yet to come and doesn’t have an impact on Sidney’s immediate need to dispatch services — and its search for a new provider.

Sidney council voted to approve the three-month extension, which will cost the Town $12,475 — equating to what the Town was paying annually for the service, prior to the price change.

Town staff reported that under the new charges by Saanich, Sidney would be paying $20,000 more per year over three years. Staff said they could not support “paying double for a service, with no incremental functionality.”

Just Posted

Free bike exchange program available to Greater Victoria kids

The Re-Buy-Cycle Shop in Langford offers free bikes for young learners

Esquimalt café cooks up connections for all abilities

A Kinder Cup focuses on positivity, inclusivity and connection

Central Saanich sparks up new opening burning bylaw

New bylaw offers ‘balanced approach’ between status quo and tougher provincial regulations

Hundreds of foreign species continue to wash along B.C. coast following Japanese tsunami

The Royal BC Museum is home to thousands of samples collected along the west coast of North America

Lone wolf eating seal and howling away on Discovery Island

Fun facts about Takaya the wolf, like his a 36-hour tour around Chatham, Discovery Islands

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Walmart to quit selling e-cigarettes amid vaping backlash

U.S.’s largest retailer points to ‘growing’ complications in federal, state and local regulations

Royal BC Museum CEO published his own book

Great Expectations, by Royal BC Museum CEO, is now available for purchase.

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

VIDEO: Fire destroys Williams Lake strip club targeted by past arson attempts

Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge destroyed by fire, as well as New World Tea and Coffee House

Trudeau seeks meeting with Singh to apologize for blackface, brownface photos

‘I will be apologizing to him personally as a racialized Canadian,’ Trudeau said Friday

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Most Read