Issues

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Johnstown Community Development Cooperative and District 10 Red Islands Fire
Department

Report of the issues and proposal as articulated by the executive of the Fire Department and JCDC at the April 4, 2007 meeting of the ratepayers of the District 10 Fire Department

Johnstown Community Development Cooperative (JCDC)

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In 2006, the JCDC property was appraised at $185,000 (with the building removed). There is about $17,000 remaining on the mortgage on the property. Monthly costs include $240 mortgage and $60 insurance.

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In 2005, at the request of its members, JCDC embarked on a series of public meetings and formed the Community Stakeholders Planning Committee with the Fire Department, Bras d’Or Lake Seniors, Parish Council, and community members at large. Several initiatives from the ideas put forward are in progress
including: a road between the church parking lot to the parish hall to extend the Tepyiak Trail; funding has been received to conduct a development plan and structural assessment for the JCDC site; and funding has been requested for an interpretive sign at the Parish Hall. Although JCDC is committed to the projects
it can no longer pay the mortgage and insurance

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.Options for JCDC include:

  1. Let the Credit Union foreclose on the property;

  2. Sell all or part of property;

  3. Enter into option to lease with District 10 Fire Department to cover monthly costs and enable both groups more time to plan. (Not mentioned at the meeting: There is a question about the JCDC taxes which have been deferred for 18 years. Will a new owner be responsible for them?)

District 10 Red Islands Fire Department
Members of the Fire Department Executive have concerns about the fire hall.

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The septic tank is old, not built to current code, and not working well. At the present time users of the building are not able to use the washrooms. As a result the Fire Marshall could declare the building unfit for community use. The building is located very close to the lake which means that replacing the septic
system will be expensive.

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The fire hall has received heavier use with the close of the JCDC building. The Senior’s group uses the building. The CAP site was relocated to it. JCDC has used it for meetings. Increased use has increased the operational costs and wear and tear on the building.

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With an increase in the number of uses for the building, it is evolving toward being a community centre. Is this the direction they want to go?

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With the addition of a new truck, deterioration of the building facilities, and increased usage, the Fire Department needs to do some long-term planning and determine the best direction for their future.

Proposal

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That District 10 Red Islands Fire Department enters into an agreement to pay $300/month to JCDC for one year, renewable, for an “option to lease”. JCDC will include the Fire Department in the planning process for the JCDC property; agree not to sell land that might be needed for possible use by the Fire Department; and will proceed with the development plan. The option to lease is similar to a lease but with a stronger end-oflease commitment from JCDC to the Fire Department than a regular annual lease. The agreement includes a pay back clause should JCDC withdraw from the agreement and sell the land. It provides time for JCDC to continue their initiatives and the Fire Department time to do serious consultation and planning.

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Where is the money coming from? The money would come from District 10 Fire Department GST rebates. This is money, approximately $14,000, that can be claimed by the Fire Department for GST paid over the years. It has not been claimed prior to this because of the huge amount of work involved. Members of the Fire Department executive are willing to put in time compiling the information from the receipts and filling in forms to support this proposal.