Survey says Brock residents want increased fire service

Although only 21 residents reportedly completed the online survey regarding Brock Township’s 2018 budget, results show a desire for increased fire service.

A report to the Finance Committee, scheduled for Monday (Dec. 4), says residents who responded are also interested in an increase in the level of winter control and road maintenance. They are satisfied, according to the report, with maintaining the status quo for the remainder of the services.

In addition to the 21 online responses, one individual completed a comment sheet at the special meeting of the Finance Committee on Nov. 6.  The Dec. 4 report notes the low response rate.

“Although the number is too low statistically to be truly representative of the population of the Township of Brock, staff have included all comments for consideration,” reads the report from Laura Barta, Treasurer.

As per the detailed survey results attached to the report, 57 per cent of respondents say they want an increase in fire service and winter control, while 43 per cent and 33 per cent, respectively, would like the service level to remain the same. The survey results indicate five per cent (one respondent) would like a decreased level of winter control and five per cent was unsure about the level of winter control.

Furthermore, 52 per cent of respondents would like increased road maintenance service, while 38 per cent are content with the status quo and five percent would like a decrease. One person (five per cent) was unsure.

With respect to library service, while 52 per cent of respondents would like to maintain the current level, 38 per cent (eight people) would like a decrease in service. One person was unsure.

Other services included in the survey included:

  • Inspection, control and by-law enforcement — 14 per cent would like an increase, 52 per cent would like to maintain current levels, 29 per cent would like a decrease, five per cent was unsure;
  • Park maintenance — five per cent want an increase, 81 per cent are content with the status quo, 10 per cent want a decrease, five per cent was unsure;
  • Recreation centres and programs — 24 per cent want an increase, 62 per cent want to keep it as-is, 10 per cent want a decrease, five per cent was unsure;
  • Facility operations — 14 per cent want an increase, 67 per cent say they’re satisfied with current levels, 14 per cent want a decrease, five per cent was unsure.

In the comment section of the survey, when asked if they thought there were services or programs not listed previously that they thought should be increased, reduced or eliminated, some residents spoke up in favour of purchasing an aerial truck.

“An aerial firefighting device could be very beneficial and a huge safety for firefighters,” reads one anonymous comment.

“Ladder truck needed for safety of public,” and “Please give firefighters and residents a ladder truck to help with safety of both,” read two others.

One person noted they want the fire department funding to be equal to that of the roads department, while another said they want a “better balance between fire and works departments.”

Other comments for this question included “no need to spend more (money) on Beaverton Harbour” and “Increased spending at the harbour, more transient slips to bring boaters in for the day/weekend. Slips on the north side of the harbour that can be rented out to island residents to free up existing ones. This year’s slips a good start, hopefully it continues.”

Related: Recommendations from former firefighter include Township purchase of aerial truck

The theme of the aerial truck consideration continued throughout the remainder of the survey, with many comments noting the safety of Brock Township firefighters.

“(Our) firemen risk their lives for the safety and security of our citizens. Please don’t continue to put them in harms way by having the wrong equipment,” reads one comment.

“Possibility of an aerial for the fire department would be great. Those new builds are very high homes. Not safe for fireman on 30-foot ladder,” reads another.

However, the final comment listed on the survey results indicates another frame of mind.

“There is a lot of talk about purchasing an aerial ladder and Brock Township has been very well serviced, with mutual aid agreements with other communities. Kawartha Lakes has been to Brock this year unbeknownst to the Brock newspaper. Oshawa has a station at Taunton and 12 with an aerial and Brechin is where Ramara or Rama have an aerial. Both of these towns have an aerial,” reads the anonymous comment, in part.

To read the survey results in their entirety, view the report to Finance Committee.


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