Third party firm will collect Cornwall’s firefighting costs

Cornwall Fire Department Chief Pierre Voisine. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – When Cornwall firefighters are called to a blaze they use equipment, tools and other resources to get the job done.

In the case of fires where homeowners’ insurance picks up the tab, the costs of firefighting are supposed to come back to the department…but they don’t always do.

So, city council agreed Monday night to hire a third-party firm to lean on insurance companies to pay up.

Fire Chief Pierre Voisine believes they could recoup $60,000-$80,000 a year (not $16,000 to $18,000 as earlier reported).

Under the five year agreement with Fire Marque Inc., the municipality will get 70 per cent of its money back while 30 per cent will go to the company for doing its job.

The agreement comes at no cost to the municipality. In other words, the company only gets paid (30 per cent) if there’s a successful claw-back on an insurance policy.

Other council news

  • Memorial plaques will be placed at the baseball diamonds and fields at Reg Campbell Park to honour Juanita Courville. The plaque would cost $500-$1,000. It was requested by the Juanita Courville Softball League to recognize her 32 years of service to the sport in Conrwall. Courville died of cancer in 2013.
  • The city will spend $2.2 million to convert its remaining 5,000 high-pressure sodium streetlights to LED’s. The city didn’t budget for it but will finance the move by using savings from using less electricity and having less maintenance. Annual savings are expected to be $430,000 a year. A firm from Ingersoll got the contract.
  • Council voted unanimously to finish a study on the development of Pointe Maligne and the Lookout Point. It’s been on hold since 2010. It will cost between $10,000 and $15,000 for Ottawa-based MMM Group to complete the study.
  • Aquatic Center swimmers will be very happy. Council approved a $131,333 deck replacement for the pool. The deck is failing. The work will happen during the three week summer shutdown so it won’t affect regular pool access.
  • Coun. Andre Rivette wants more information on a trail reconstruction project in Guindon Park, concerned the work may actually damage other trails. The contract, to be awarded to Cornwall Gravel for roughly $50,000, is on hold and staff are expected to come back next month with more information.
  • With the Eastern Ontario Health Unit looking at a health inspection carding system for local restaurants and mandatory certification for food handlers, Coun. Bernadette Clement wants the health unit to prepare a report for council on the specifics and to also make a presentation at an upcoming meeting.
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