Neighbouring municipalities to consider mutual assistance service agreement in emergency situations

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MINDEMOYA-KAGAWONG – It appears the municipality of Central Manitoulin and the Township of Billings will  be developing a proposal for mutual assistance services to be provided between their two roads departments, and possibly other municipalities, in emergency cases (for instance, a COVID-19 outbreak in one of the municipalities).

“The idea originally came from Billings Township,” said Derek Stephens, a Central Manitoulin councillor and chair of the municipal roads committee after a meeting last week. “If an emergency occurred, for instance a COVID-19 outbreak among staff on the roads department, a municipality could get assistance from a neighbouring municipality. Along with Billings we said, what about working with other municipalities as well?”

At a Billings Township council meeting last week, council discussed the possibility of the mutual assistance agreement with Central Manitoulin in an emergency situation. 

“On any potential major problem with COVID-19 for example, we would need our roads to be plowed and maintained,” stated Billings Mayor Ian Anderson,  noting Central Manitoulin is the township’s closest neighbouring municipality. 

“This would be a really good plan to have in place; I agree with the agreement document being proposed,” stated Councillor Michael Hunt. 

“This agreement would be a very proactive approach, “ said Councillor Bryan Barker. “In the case of an emergency it would be good to have an agreement in place with a neighbouring municipality.”

Mr. Barker noted, “COVID-19 brought all of this to light, and this agreement would be good to have in  place for other potential emergencies as well in the future.”

“I agree, it would be a wise move down the road and as Councillor Barker noted, would provide a pro-active approach,” added Mayor Anderson.