PEI

Stratford won't raise taxes to pay for fire service hike, mayor says

Dues the Cross Roads Fire Department is charging the Town of Stratford are going up significantly in the 2019 budget.

Cross Roads Fire Department facing higher costs with new building, fire truck

Stratford Mayor Steve Ogden says the town was able to find the extra $425,000 a year in fire dues by cutting discretionary spending. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

Dues the Cross Roads Fire Department is charging the Town of Stratford, P.E.I., are going up significantly in the 2019 budget.

The fire department is asking for a more than 50 per cent increase from households — or $37 more a year per household — and more than double the dues from commercial properties, an increase of $442 a year.

Stratford Mayor Steve Ogden says the town was able to find the $425,000 extra a year by cutting discretionary spending, so property taxes won't increase.

"We just have to really tighten our belts and looked at every line object," Ogden said. 

"We tore it apart and it was quite an exercise, pulling out our hair to get this done. It was tough, but we were able to do it."

Ogden said Cross Roads is facing higher costs with the leasing of its space in the new emergency services facility, expected to open later this summer. He said there is also a need for a new $1 million ladder truck to access higher buildings planned for Stratford.

More P.E.I. news

With files from Angela Walker

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