Pascal Meunier, Director of Protective Services was present at the Oct 30 Policy Review Committee meeting of Carleton Place’s town council to review his proposal to replace the fire-chief’s truck 2 years before its planned retirement date. The cause of the early request was related to the current condition of the bylaw enforcement vehicle which was due for replacement in 2019. That ride sits parked due to the need for approximately $3,500 in repairs, after a year of $4,000 in upkeep costs. Meunier proposed to switch the current fire chief’s auto to bylaw use and sought $50,000 in unplanned funding to obtain a new fire service vehicle. He and staff reasoned that bylaw’s lower mileage and load requirements would be a perfect match for the current fire vehicle for the last 2 years of its service-life and the town would benefit from lower operating costs during the warranty period on the new truck.
The only member of council’s committee to speak in favour of the proposal was Mayor Louis Antonakos (the current council is still in power until Dec 4th). He thought Meunier and staff made a “good business case for early replacement” and noted it was within the current council’s purview to make the decision. Others such as councilors Sean Redmond and Theresa Fritz and Deputy-mayor Jerry Flynn thought it was best to pass the file off to the new council and next year’s budget. In the end, in a recorded vote called by Antonakos, the motion to approve the purchase was defeated with Antonakos, Doug Black, and Ross Trimble voting in favour with Fritz, Redmond, Flynn, and committee chair Brian Doucett voting nay.