The Mayor of Tache says council is leaning towards setting up a reserve fund for fire equipment.
Presently, the rural municipality has what is called its Tache Machinery Replacement Reserve Fund. Robert Rivard explains this account is used to purchase anything from new graders to new fire trucks. But he admits that can sometimes place council in a difficult position when it comes time to making a purchase. For example, if you spend half a million dollars on a new fire truck, there is that much less to put towards a new grader.
"It's something that we always need as municipalities," explains Rivard. "We just felt it would be a better way, more transparent way of showing how we're collecting funds for each different reserve."
Council will hold a public hearing May 8th to discuss the matter.
Council is proposing to establish a dedicated reserve fund specifically for purchases and/ or capital improvements of fire fighting and protection services equipment. It would be called the Tache Fire Equipment Reserve Fund. If approved, the municipality would transfer $533,654.46 to this account from the Tache Machinery Replacement Reserve Fund.
It is also proposing to establish a dedicated reserve fund specifically for purchases and/or capital improvements of Rural Public Works Machinery. If approved, the municipality would transfer $446,282.57 to this account from the Tache Machinery Replacement Reserve Fund.
For 2018, the municipality would levy $105,000 to be deposited into the Tache Fire Equipment Reserve Fund. The municipality plans to levy $170,000 for 2018 and $200,000 for subsequent years to be deposited into the Rural Public Works Machinery Fund.
Rivard notes the municipality normally has a surplus each year and, if approved, in the future some of that could be transferred to the Tache Fire Equipment Reserve Fund rather than a general fund.
Rivard says how much is used from the Tache Machinery Replacement Reserve Fund varies from year to year. In a year where a new fire pumper truck needs to be purchased, the municipality might draw $500,000. Yet, a year like this where only a tractor needs to be purchased, Rivard says they might spend $100,000.
"We haven't bought a new grader for a couple of years because we just couldn't afford it," he says. "We haven't bought a new fire truck for the same reason."
The RM of Tache has fire halls in Lorette, Landmark and Ste. Genevieve. Rivard says the next item on their wish list is a new pumper truck for the Lorette fire department.