Fire halls, curling rink bucks in budget

Gas Tax fuels grants to green up South Cariboo facilities

Several local organizations have been identified for Community Works Fund (CWF) grants this year through planned capital expenditures in the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) 2013 budget and five-year financial plan.

Because CWF money stems from the federal/provincial Gas Tax Fund Agreement, CRD chair Al Richmond says all projects must improve energy efficiency or support clean-water initiatives.

Some of the 2013 funding grants for the South Cariboo will go to CRD fire halls in Forest Grove ($35,000), Deka Lake ($25,000) and Lac la Hache ($7,500).

The money for Forest Grove Fire Hall includes $20,000 for a new, high-efficiency furnace in the vehicle bays.

It also provides $15,000 to install an ecologically friendly fuel storage tank with a metered pump, which Deka Lake Fire Hall will also get under its grant funding.

The Lac la Hache Fire Hall funds will pay for new garage doors on its older vehicle bay.

In 2014, the Forest Grove Fire Hall is targeted to get another $35,000 for a new roof.

Richmond adds that across the board, the financial plan also allows a two per cent increase to overall fire department budgets, although some will see no increase while others will get more than that, based on need.

Taxation in those communities will increase accordingly. For instance, Lac la Hache is rising from $64.95 per $100,000 assessed value in 2012 to $70.31/$100,000 in 2013.

We’ve [recently] had to replace an engine in one truck. It was just maintenance; it developed a problem that wasn’t foreseen.”

In 2014, the South Cariboo Rec. Centre Curling Rink is slated to get $10,000 in CWF money for new food concession equipment. Richmond notes it is energy efficiency upgrades that build on some improvements started last year in the concession.

Pending a successful pilot project underway at the Lac la Hache Transfer Station, other CWF money will be applied to the planned improvements at landfills and transfer stations included in the CRD’s Solid Waste Management Plan recently endorsed by the board.