Cariboo Regional District directors recently approved funding for a feasibility study to examine the potential for a CRD volunteer fire department (VFD) at Sulphurous Lake.
CRD Area L Director Bruce Rattray says it is being done at the request of the existing fire departments at Sulphurous and Deka lakes.
Options to be examined include a standalone VFD at Sulphurous Lake or a merged fire department with Deka Lake.
Unlike Deka Lake’s, the existing Sulphurous Lake VFD is not a funded CRD function, so like all independent fire departments, it is constantly struggling to survive financially, Rattray explains.
“The first step in this [project] is to have a little funding to get some more mapping information to see who would be involved, determine the potential area that could be covered under various options, and then try to do some estimating of the potential costs and what taxation would be brought in.”
The study will also look at equipment and facilities to determine what potential upgrades and how many halls would be needed, Rattray adds.
He explains residents should understand this is not going to be forced upon them, and consultations and opportunities for their input will not take place for likely another year before anything concrete could happen.
“We are really talking ‘exploratory’ at the request of the two departments. But, it certainly makes sense to look at the options.”
Noting many Sulphurous residents already pay voluntary fees to the current VFD, Rattray says under a CRD taxation-funded system, they might see more updated equipment and facilities.
Before anything moved forward, there would be a public approval process for determining if the residents support it, likely through a referendum, he explains.
“It depends on what comes out of the study as to what the options are.”