Annual fire dues for the Watch Lake-North Green Lake fire protection area increased from $200 per year to $250 per year at the Watch Lake-North Green Lake Volunteer Fire Department’s (WLNGLVFD) annual general meeting on August 5.
The department currently has 452 paid members. While expenses are generally covered each year, the department runs close to the edge by the end of the year. Raising the dues would help to mitigate this, particularly in light of rising costs. The annual fee is subject to a $30 discount if dues are paid before Jan. 1.
The Summer 2023 newsletter on the department website shows a chart of fees comparing annual dues between four CRD fire protection areas and the Watch Lake-North Green Lake area which is an independent hall. It notes that fire protection dues are much lower than for other fire protection areas locally.
For a $500,000 property annual fire protection fees are $200 for Watch Lake-North Green Lake, $670 for 108 Mile Ranch, $805 for Deka Lake, $960 for Lone Butte and $1320 for Lac La Hache. Similar jumps in rates are shown for $300,00 and $700,000 properties.
A history of the department shows that dues started at $160 per residential property in 2006. At the 2019 AGM, the membership voted to increase them to $200 with a $20 discount if paid early.
“With those dues, over the years it brought us from a deficit position of $-13,000 to what the Department is today with assets of over $2 million,” it says on the website. “The Department has two halls, two engines, three tenders, two first response vehicles, a pump trailer with 2 pumps which can fill our tenders in 3 minutes and the Work Safe required emergency transport vehicle.
Currently, there are 34 volunteer firefighters in the department. New recruits are always welcome to apply to the department.