North Oyster Firehall Feedback

Letters to the editor regarding the upcoming referendum asking taxpayers if they are in favor of building two new fire halls.

Editor:

 

I am surprised at the number of negative letters in the local newspapers regarding the proposed new North Oyster fire halls.

Fire protection is a necessity like water and electricity; without it, even a small fire will result in the complete loss of your car, home, out building or local forest. Also, without local fire protection, your home insurance will skyrocket.

The old hall is entirely inadequate and the conditions our valiant volunteer firefighters have to work under are completely unacceptable; there isn’t even a place for them to wash off hazardous chemicals until they return to their homes.

We all expect these volunteer and unpaid fire fighters to rush to our homes and vehicle accidents in an emergency and they deserve decent bases to operate from. The proposed parcel tax to pay the mortgage on the new halls amounts to less than $21.00 per month; peanuts really when you consider we already have one of the lowest tax rates on Vancouver Island.

Every time we postpone the agony, the replacement cost goes up. This issue has dragged on too long so I urge everyone in the North Oyster fire protection area to go to vote “YES” for the CVRD Bylaw No. 3542 referendum.

 

Michael Fall

Ladysmith

 

 

Editor:

 

I do not see anything “fair” about the lower valued property owners subsidizing the likes of FortisBC.

Doesn’t this bring to mind how the 99 per cent are paying for everything the one per cent enjoy worldwide? One should pay attention to the protests of the OWS movement.

This is a bad time, as our senior governments are telling us not to acquire more debt.

It has been adequately established that the current #1 fire hall on Yellow Point Road needs replacing but the taxpayers (seniors and other low income families) cannot afford a parcel tax to build one fire hall let alone two. The Coffin Point “parking garage” costing an extra one million wouldn’t enhance our fire protection, as confirmed by local knowledgeable people.

My vote will be NO on the proposed referendum.

 

Esa Kuusisto

North Oyster

 

 

Editor:

 

Area H, CVRD has an important issue to vote upon Nov. 19… one that will impact the level of First Response, fire protection, and emergency support in our community. Our family has had occasion to call upon our fire fighters, and we are only too aware of the service they provide, and the importance of a quick response time. To have the fire chief arrive even before the ambulance was immensely reassuring.

For reasons that have little to do with community safety, a strident opposition has been launched and the hard work that has gone into planning the fire hall improvements may be for naught. No one wants additional taxes, but consider how far this particular $21 per month will go, and the peace of mind the improved protection will bring you and your family.

If you don’t vote in support, you can’t expect the level of protection that improved physical plant and equipment will provide. We owe it to ourselves, our neighbours, and the volunteer firefighters we depend upon. In all, the public meetings the consensus has been that the fire hall must be replaced.  It has taken many years to finally bring this issue to referendum.

Please get out and vote on November 19.

 

Moyra and Phil Dobson

Ladysmith

 

 

Editor:

 

As Area H residents, we have questions that remain unanswered with regards the upcoming referendum and the proposal to build two fire halls. These questions have been posed to both Mary Marcotte and the CVRD staff, with incomplete answers being returned.

Firstly, what process was undertaken that supports the decision to increase the amount borrowed from the initial (approx) $2 million to support one fire hall to over $3 million as worded in the referendum to support two fire halls? Considering the financial magnitude of this decision, the informal ‘voting’ process that was undertaken is a poor representation of governance.

Secondly, what feasibility studies and business cases have been completed to support the proposed bylaws?

Thirdly, what finding supports that a second fire station and truck at Shell Beach will reduce emergency response time?

Fourth, what plans are in place for the operation of the fire hall and its equipment at the Shell Beach site?  What future operating costs are being forecast and how will this impact taxpayer costs?

One would think the magnitude of this decision would warrant a more complete and transparent process in order for taxpayers to provide their support.

 

Fred Zdan

Ladysmith

 

 

Editor:

 

At the CVRD public meeting on October 27, at the North Oyster Community Center, taxpayers are being asked to allow the CVRD to borrow up to $3,03,000 to build what? Possibly an inadequate three-bay fire hall or maybe purchase land and build a four bay fire hall on the present site or possibly not as well as a two bay fire hall/garage or possibly not; all at inflated cost overrun possibilities built into the referendum.

At present we have a three bay  fire hall that stores a pumper, a tanker and a rescue truck. The NOVFD has six firetrucks. A new one arrived this month, and three are being stored around the district in private properties. It does not make sense to build an inadequate three bay fire hall and saddle the community with a $4,000,000 bill for 20 years.

Communication and full accountability to the taxpayers is seriously absent.

I have had 28 years as a firefighter with NOVFD retiring in 1996 as fire chief. I will vote NO to this loosy goosy referendum.

 

Keith Wyndlow

Ladysmith

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