Meaford council has given staff the green light to enter negotiations with Georgian Bluffs to take over full ownership of the Inter Township Fire Department.
This idea of switching ownership has been in the works for some time and now the two municipalities have entered the discussion stage.
Meaford was advised to look at switching fire department services for the Former Sydenham Township area of the municipality in a Master Fire Plan in February 2019.
There are several reasons for this change including concerns around governance, budgets, level of service and staff management.
Councillor Tony Bell pointed out the taxpayer contribution to Meaford's ownership , something he sees as an inevitability.
"Every fire truck and every piece of kit Meaford has 25% ownership of, how do we recuperate those tax dollars?" Bell foreshadows "if we do a fee for that than at some point it becomes zero, what do we do in the future? That's why I alluded to a new fire hall because that would only make sense."
Mayor Barb Clumpus however feels that this path is the best option for both Meaford and Georgian Bluffs saying "We directed our staff to begin negotiations and Georgian Bluffs has put forward a resolution that indicates this is a preferred option for them."
Both municipalities will head to the negotiation tables with Clumpus saying Meaford's big focus will be maintaining or improving the current service level.