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

Sooke trade show targets local business

Sookrama planned for April

Added webcams give drivers more views of Malahat and highway to Sooke

Five new DriveBC webcams installed in high traffic locations on Vancouver Island

Four Grizzlies crack NHL’s central scouting list for 2019

Newhook, Campbell, Bucheler and Berger earn NHL notice

Legend of Victoria dog ‘Cody’ lives on with successful pet drive

Charmaine’s furniture store collecting donations for Victoria Pet Food Bank

Royals test unbeaten streak on Hockey for Hospitals night

Marty and the Victoria Royals host Hockey for Hospitals night on Feb. 2

Why would the B.C. legislature need a firewood splitter?

First sign of police involvement in investigation of top managers

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

POLL: Do you support a speculation tax on vacant homes in Greater Victoria?

Homeowners have begun to receive letters asking if they should be exempt… Continue reading

Judge annuls hairdresser’s forced marriage to boss’ relative

Woman was told she’d be fired if she didn’t marry boss’s Indian relative so he could immigrate here

Liberals look to make home-buying more affordable for millennials: Morneau

Housing is expected to be a prominent campaign issue ahead of October’s federal election

Cannabis-carrying border crossers could be hit with fines under coming system

Penalties are slated to be in place some time next year

Man accused of threatening to kill ‘as many girls as I see’

Christopher W. Cleary wrote he was angry because he’d never had a girlfriend and wanted to ‘make it right’ with a mass shooting

Most Read