Halifax considers shutting five rural fire stations
In an effort to save $80,000 this year, the Halifax fire department is proposing to close five "underutilized" stations in rural parts of the city.
The five substations are Mooseland, Terence Bay, Elderbank, Upper Hammonds Plains and Ketch Harbour.
Fire Chief Doug Trussler said the stations are rarely used and some do not have any volunteers.
One station — Mooseland — has not rolled on a fire in three years.
Trussler said the closures pose no risk to communities since they are served by other stations.
The department also wants to raise up to $600,000 this year by starting to charge bars and daycares for licence inspections at the rate of $65 per hour.
Eventually, Halifax Fire intends to charge the owners of apartment buildings for inspections. The cost — which could run into thousands of dollars each — would be included in existing permits.
Trussler said most other large cities in Canada also charge for fire inspections.
The fire budget is $54 million. The biggest cost — over 91 per cent — goes to compensation.
Since 2004, wages for unionized firefighters have increased by 49 per cent.