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Alternative approval processes begin for Barlow Creek & Deka Lake fire trucks

Jan 17, 2020

The CRD’s Barlow Creek and Deka Lake volunteer fire departments require new fire trucks in 2020 to meet certification requirements. The Cariboo Regional District is holding alternative approval processes (AAP) to approve using 10-year financing for the purchases.

“Both Barlow Creek and Deka Lake volunteer fire departments need to replace one of their fire trucks so that their trucks meet Canadian certification requirements,” explains John Massier, CRD Vice-Chair and Electoral Area C Director. “If the trucks are not replaced, property owners will not qualify for fire insurance discounts within those fire protection areas.”

To lower the impact on taxes, the Regional District is using ten-year debt financing rather than five-year financing. This model spreads out the purchasing cost, creates the least impact on tax rates and helps the fire department build up savings for future maintenance and truck replacements.

“Major purchases like this can have a significant impact on taxes,” Massier states. “We think using a ten-year financing model is the best way to keep tax rates manageable.”

If qualified electors in the Barlow Creek and Deka Lake fire protection areas are fine with the CRD using 10-year financing to purchase the fire truck, then they do not have to do anything. If they are opposed, they need to submit the official Elector Response Form by March 2, 2020.

Local governments need residents’ permission to enter into debt financing arrangements longer than five years. To gather that permission, the Regional District has chosen to use an AAP to purchase new fire engines for Barlow Creek and Deka Lake.

An AAP is a ‘reverse’ form of public assent where the proposed change will go ahead unless at least 10 per cent of the eligible voters submit a signed Elector Response Form saying they are against the proposal. This means the CRD will purchase the trucks through ten-year financing unless 10 per cent of the residents in the specific fire protection areas object.

Signed Elector Response Forms must be submitted by 4 p.m. on Monday, March 2, 2020.

Visit cariboord.ca/firedepartments for the Elector Response Forms and a Frequently Asked Questions document for each AAP. The FAQs outline the impact on taxation for each fire protection area and provide more details on the alternative approval process.

Background Facts:

  • Each engine/pumper truck will cost about $455,000.
  • The 10-year financing model is keeping taxes from increasing as much as they would under 5-year financing for both the fire protection areas.
  • Under the 10-year financing model:
    • The Barlow Creek Fire Protection Area budget will see an overall tax increase of 3.4% each year over the next 5-year financial plan (2020-2024), which includes both the property and parcel tax. If the fire truck was purchased with 5-year financing, there would need to be a 25% property tax increase in 2020 and a 3.5% increase in years 2021 to 2024.
    • The Deka Lake Fire Protection Area budget will see only inflationary tax increases of 2.5% each year over the next 5-year financial plan (2020-2024). If the fire truck was purchased with 5-year financing, there would need to be a 20% tax increase in 2020 with a return to inflationary increases of 2.5% per year for 2021 to 2024.
  • For an AAP, elector responses must be submitted on the official Elector Response Form. This form, or an accurate copy of it, is the only form that will be accepted. Forms are available from the CRD offices during business hours or can be downloaded at cariboord.ca/firedepartments.
  • The CRD’s Protective Services department provides a variety of services throughout the Cariboo Chilcotin, including 9-1-1, Emergency Planning, Search and Rescue, Highway Rescue, Structural Fire Protection and Wildland/Urban Interface Fuel Management.
  • The Cariboo Regional District has 14 volunteer fire departments. For more information about the CRD’s VFD’s or information about joining these groups of dedicated volunteers, visit cariboord.ca/firedepartments.

Quotes:

“The Deka Lake Volunteer Fire Department is such an important part of our community. Having equipment that is up to standard will help support the selfless work they do.” – Willow MacDonald, Electoral Area L Director

“Many thanks to the volunteers at the Barlow Creek Volunteer Fire Department. Not only will this new truck support their efforts, but it means that residents in the fire protection can continue to get discounts on their property insurance.” – John Massier, Electoral Area C Director

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Page last modified: October 30, 2018 09:50:58 PDT