Estevan City Council approved a false alarm fee for service policy at their meeting February 24.
It includes greater fees for when Estevan Fire and Rescue Services members respond to a false alarm.
The policy has several goals, including a reduction in the number of preventable and unwarranted false alarm responses by firefighters; and the implementation of a cost recovery structure for preventable false alarm responses.
It also differentiates between a false alarm, a preventable false alarm, unwarranted false alarms and monitored system alarms.
The fire chief, or a designate, will investigate the cause of each false alarm, and shall establish if the alarm was warranted or preventable.
The fee for service for a first response to an unwarranted false alarm will be $300. If there is another call in the next 12 months, the fee will increase to $325, and then $350 for each subsequent unwarranted false alarm within the 12-month time span.
A response to a rural municipality served by Estevan Fire and Rescue Services will remain an hourly rate.
The rate increase will take effect on March 15. The initial proposal was for the increases to be effective on March 1, but Councillor Brian Johnson said that citizens needed more advanced notice of the rate hikes.
Other highlights from the meeting were:
*Council approved community event permits for the Estevan Exhibition Association to host the Rumble in the Dirt cabaret on June 14, beer gardens during the Estevan Fair from June 16 to 18, and beer gardens during the Estevan Rodeo from September 5 to 7.
*The fuel and lubricant tender was tabled to a future meeting. Southern Plains Co-op was to be awarded the fuel portion of the tender for $387,040.50; council members expressed concern that the co-op's tender was more than $100,000 higher than Stoughton-based CPS Canada. But CPS doesn't have cardlock facilities in Estevan, so City vehicles would have to travel to Stoughton for fuel. McComb Automotive had the lowest lubricant bid at $10,069.29.
*Two policies were rescinded: one governing clothing allowances for in-scope employees, and the other for sick leave. Both are now redundant due to new collective bargaining agreements.
*Helen Fornwald released her year-end EMO report. Fornwald discussed the highlights from the past year, the partnerships that have been formed, and some of the incidents that required Estevan Emergency Planning's involvement. She also shared her plans for 2014.