On October 31st, 2016, Dennis Township was given approval to form a Local Services Board. Dennis Township as shown on the map above consists of two sections. The lower section is the area that has applied for Local Service Board status.
The area, known locally as Red Rock, lies only 30 minutes from downtown Sault Ste. Marie, and residents explained at two public meetings that there is only sporadic cell service coverage, no land line 911 services, limited fire protection and high home insurance costs.
These safety concerns were the impetus for residents to request Local Service Board status which will allow the Township to begin planning to provide basic essential services to Dennis Township landowners and visitors to the area.
From the application:
- Emergency Telecommunications: The inhabitants are interested in establishing the LSB in order to enter into an agreement with the OPP to obtain 911 Central Emergency Reporting Bureau (CERB) services for all properties with Bell landline service within its proposed boundary. The Sault Ste. Marie Fire Services (SSMFS) currently provide emergency medical services (paramedics) to Dennis Township.
- Fire Protection: The inhabitants of the proposed board area do not currently receive fire protection or suppression services. The three neighbouring fire departments (SSMFS, Township of Prince volunteer fire department and the LSB of Goulais’ Fire and Rescue) do not provide fire suppression services to Dennis Township (south) and the SSMFS and Township of Prince would only do so if a service agreement or mutual aid agreement was established. As per subsection 7(1) of the NSBA, the LSB of Goulais’ Fire and Rescue can only provide the fire protection services within its own geographic area; as such it cannot provide fire protection services to Dennis Township. The inhabitants have requested the Power of Fire Protection with the intention of establishing fire suppression services to improve public safety in the community. A phased implementation plan for the provision of services pursuant to the exercise of the proposed LSB’s Power of Fire Protection has been developed.
- Recreation: The inhabitants have requested the Power of Recreation to foster a sense of community and to enable the proposed LSB to construct a community centre and deliver recreation programming. The inhabitants would pursue provincial funding programs to finance the construction of the centre if the LSB is established and designated with this Power.
- Garbage Collection: The inhabitants have requested the Power of Garbage Collection in order to enter into a contract with a third party service provider for the collection, removal and disposal of garbage and recyclable materials. There is a need for a sustainable recycling program in the community to assist with the diversion of material from the Havilland Waste Disposal Site, which is the only waste disposal site available to the inhabitants of Dennis Township.
At a public vote meeting on June 17, 2015, the majority of the one hundred (100) residents present voted in favour of recommending the establishment of the LSB and designating it with the Powers of Emergency Telecommunications, Recreation, Fire Protection and Garbage Collection (52 in favour, 48 against).
There is little available funding from any level of government, so the process will take years.
On December 5th, 2016, a meeting will be held to elect the first five LSB directors. It will take place at the Korah Library, Essar Room at 6:30. Those present at the meeting will elect the Board. No proxy votes or mail in votes are allowed.
Dennis Township will also be celebrating their 55th Anniversary in July 2017. They hope to get in touch with past landowners to invite them to participate and to help collect stories pertaining to the history of the area and personal experiences. Early photos would also be appreciated.
Further information or questions should be sent to [email protected] or posted on their Facebook page at Red Rock Community Ratepayers Association.