Referendums give green light to three VFDs coming under TNRD control

‘I’m very happy that it passed. It takes our liability issues away as of next January’

Referendums on whether or not to create three new fire protection areas within the Tompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) passed with overwhelming support, according to preliminary results. The referendums bring existing Volunteer Fire Departments (VFD) under control of the TNRD.

In the South Green Lake area, 149 (96 per cent) voted in favour while six (four per cent) were opposed. In the Loon Lake area, 115 (79 per cent) voted in favour while 31 (21 per cent) were opposed. In the McLure area 103 (87 per cent) voted in favour while 15 (13 per cent) were opposed.

For Green Lake, the referendum passes a bylaw to create a maximum annual tax requisition for operating costs of $150,000 or $1.094/$1,000 of net taxable value to land and improvements, whichever is greater.

The referendum for Loon Lake passed two bylaws for that create a maximum annual tax requisition for operating costs of $150,000 or $1.546/$1,000 of net taxable value to land and improvements, whichever is greater, and to borrow an amount not to exceed $653,000 for the purpose of constructing two fire halls for the Loon Lake fire protection service.

For McLure, the referendum passes a bylaw to create a maximum annual tax requisition for operating costs of $150,000 or $2.618/$1,000 of net taxable value to land and improvements, whichever is greater.

“I’m very happy that it passed. It takes our liability issues away as of next January,” says South Green Lake VFD chief Peter McKie.

They become a TNRD hall on January 1, 2019, he says.

“All the volunteers, firefighters, board of directors, officers are very happy that is passed.”

While liability was the main issue for the VFDs, it also allows knowledge sharing between departments and the VFDs will be able to get better pricing on equipment through the TNRD, says McKie.

“All fire apparatus and equipment ages out. It all has a shelf life so you have to keep replacing a few things every year.”

The water tender for the South Green Lake VFD is over 30 years old, meaning they’ll be looking to replace it, he says.

There wasn’t much negativity from residents says McKie but they were hoping for a slightly better turnout.

“We have 422 lots but I think only [155 voted in the Green Lake area]. We were a little disappointed in the turnout but the result was great.”

McKie says he’s looking forward to working with the TNRD and make the hall the best it can be to serve the community.


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