News files

News files

Esquimalt council faces busy week, big decisions

Fire dispatch services, a quarterly report from VicPD and presentation of OCP on deck

A decision on fire dispatch services, the first sight of the long-awaited Esquimalt Official Community Plan and another presentation from Victoria Police are on the agenda for Esquimalt council tomorrow, March 12.

“There are budget timelines and time sensitive issues coming forward that need to be decided,” Mayor Barb Desjardins said, referring to council’s irregular schedule this week.

A special meeting of council is scheduled for March 12 and 13 – as well, council will sit as committee of the whole March 12.

VicPD Chief Const. Del Manak will present the quarterly report (Oct. 1-Dec. 31) as it pertains to the policing framework agreement between the police board, the municipality and Victoria.

The relationship between Esquimalt and VicPD is slightly strained after council last week voted against the department’s budget ask for the second time, but Desjardins said tomorrow’s presentation is just business as usual.

RELATED: Esquimalt denies VicPD budget request for the second time

A proposal from the City of Surrey to provide fire dispatch services for Esquimalt will also be presented.

“The recommendation from staff would be for Esquimalt to move forward and accept the proposal from Surrey,” Desjardins said, noting it will go before council in Colwood, View Royal, Sidney and North Saanich as well. The four municipalities are all facing expired contracts with the Saanich dispatch service, who in December announced the cost would be doubling.

“You can see those are significant increases,” Desjardins explained. “The municipalities got together to look at other options and now we need to come to a conclusion.”

RELATED: Saanich doubles price to provide fire dispatch services to Esquimalt

And, the long-awaited Official Community Plan will make its debut Monday evening in council chambers where the public will be able to view what Desjardins refers to as “a significant document” before it goes before council for first reading later this month.

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com