Borrowing for three new fire trucks goes to referendum
By Regional District of Central KootenayDepartment News News BC fire hall firefighters
Sep. 26, 2023, Nelson, B.C. – The Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) will hold three separate referendums on Dec. 2 for the approval of a 20-year financing term for the purchase of three new fire engines. The new fire engines will serve the North Shore Fire Service, Slocan Valley Fire Service and Tarrys and Pass Creek Fire Service.
In the past, the RDCK has used a combination of short-term financing (which does not need voter consent) and capital reserves to purchase fire engines. However, due to inflation, a new fire engine will cost up to $750,000. Therefore, the RDCK is recommending long-term financing (which needs voter consent) over 20 years to reduce the burden on the taxpayer.
Each fire department within the RDCK is required to have a fire engine and water tender, with each apparatus being less than 25 years old and meeting specific National Fire Protection Association, Underwriters Laboratories of Canada and Fire Underwriters requirements. The fire engine for the North Shore Fire Department needs to be replaced in 2024, while the fire engines for the Tarrys Fire Department and Winlaw Fire Department need to be replaced in 2025.
“A group purchasing approach will be utilized when procuring these fire engines to realize cost savings for each service,” said Nora Hannon, RDCK Regional Fire Chief. “Fire Service Staff realize the inflationary pressures facing our communities and are working to reduce the impact by asking residents to approve long term financing rather than pay over a shorter five-year term.”
Each fire department will host an open house for residents to stop by, ask questions, and learn more about the referendum and the process.
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