One city councillor’s attempt to get a new fire panel installed at Glen-Stor-Dun Loge was shot down in flames Friday, and resulted in him storming out of a budget meeting.
Coun. Andre Rivette wanted the city to find money somewhere in its reserve funds to offset replacing an aging fire panel which has had operational issues in the past, at the Cornwall nursing home.
Rivette and his fellow members of the budget steering committee that met Friday morning were involved in several heated exchanges, with some suggesting the veteran councillor was fanning the flames of concern without justification.
“To even dream of suggesting we’re putting our seniors in jeopardy at the Glen-Stor-Dun Lodge…I think it’s disgraceful,” said budget committee chair Denis Carr.
Rivette was clearly frustrated with his colleagues.
“On this issue, when I get a report like this, it’s a health and safety issue,” said Rivette, who thundered at many city councillors and stormed out of the budget meeting early.
A report from lodge manager Norm Quenneville spells out a plan to fund the replacement of the fire panel next year.
But it also suggests the fire panel has malfunctioned on occasions in the past, including muffled paging, not to mention missing “isolation modules” which are required by code.
The panel, though, is functioning and city CAO Norm Levac, who at one point was put on the spot by Coun. Gerry Samson, suggested there is every reason to believe it will remain working until it is replaced next year.
“We believe and the operators believe it can last another few months,” he said.
Mayor Bob Kilger suggested concerns about resident safety at the lodge are unfounded.
“My mother is a resident at Glen-Stor-Dun Lodge,” he said. “My mother lives in a safe environment.”
Parts for the fire panel are difficult to come by, given its age. The current model was released in 1988.
A full system upgrade has been pegged at as much as $130,000.