Cost up 36% to dispatch South Glengarry firefighters

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

LANCASTER – The cost to dispatch South Glengarry firefighters is expected to jump 36 per cent starting next year.

South Glengarry council is expected to endorse a new five-year agreement with the Cornwall Police Service for dispatching services at its meeting tonight (Monday).

The previous five-year deal is scheduled to end this year with a current fee of $37,885.

The new agreement starts at $51,450 next year – a 36 per cent increase – and then a two per cent increase every year after that through 2026 when the cost tops out at $55,690.

The Cornwall Police Service (CPS) justifies the 36 per cent increase to cover staffing, admin oversight, IT support and to put next generation 911 service in place, which would accept text messages and digital video in addition to phone calls, according to a staff report to council.

The CPS dispatches firefighters for Cornwall, North Glengarry, South Stormont and North Stormont. South Dundas is dispatched by Brockville, while North Dundas gets its service from Ottawa.

Staff are recommending to go ahead with the contract because “South Glengarry continues to be provided excellent service from the CPS,” and moving elsewhere would “add significantly” to the cost of the service due to overhead and relocating 911 connections.

Tonight’s council meeting starts at 7 p.m.