CORNWALL, Ontario - The city’s budget committee has changed its tack and is now prepared to spend the money to replace an aging fire panel at the Glen-Stor-Dun Lodge.
The change of heart came after a week of criticism from some who suggested city hall wasn't considering safety concerns at the lodge because the fire panel has been known to malfunction in the past and is well past its time as a reliable piece of equipment.
Coun. Andre Rivette, frustrated a week ago at his colleagues for not supporting him, was successful a second time around in getting more support to replace the system.
An ally this time was Coun. Denis Thibault, who voted against the move earlier.
"It's a change of heart," said Thibault. "I would support this approach because it would not add any dollars to the tax bills that would be going out to people. And it would allow us to do this year what we would be doing next year anyways.”
The city will fund the project, estimated to cost as much as $130,000, out of reserves.
There were some still against the move, including budget committee chair Denis Carr who suggested the fire panel can still do the job for another year, and was concerned that Rivette and others were raising safety concerns that are unwarranted.
And Coun. Glen Grant pointed to a report by lodge manager Norm Quenneville which suggested while the panel is at the end of its lifespan, it is serviceable in the short-term.
“He believes residents aren’t in danger there," said Grant. "The intention is honourable, but what we’re doing is second-guessing our manager – this would be a slap in the face to him, in my estimation.”
Rivette was having none of that.
“It’s not up to snuff," he said. "I’m not trying to micromanage the guy.”
“It’s a health and safety issue. I don’t care how you look at it.”