Petition for protection closes May 20

The question still stands as to whether 101 properties in the hamlet of Whitecroft will receive fire protection from Sun Peaks Fire Rescue (SPFR). After a homeowners’ meeting on April 2 with the Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD), Sun Peaks Municipality, the Whitecroft Community Association (WCA) and SPFR, voters now have a decision to make to put the issue to rest.

“At the meeting it was confirmed that SPFR and Sun Peaks Municipality want to help Whitecroft and support it,” explains Helen Jones, president of the WCA. “Now the voting starts and we see what the community has to say.”

Whitecroft residents would see an increase in their taxes at the rate of $1.14 per $1,000 of assessment if they choose fire protection. Although TNRD information states, “(they) cannot provide assurance to residents with respect to a reduction in fire insurance premium costs,” Whitecroft resident Katja Roberts confirms her increase in taxes and decrease in insurance will balance to within $50 of what she’s already paying.

“This is our last chance for this opportunity,” says Jones. “It’ll make us a safer community and make us think about what we do and what could happen.”

For this fire protection service to go ahead, the TNRD must receive completed petitions from at least half of Whitecroft property owners, with the combined assessed value of those properties being at least half of the local assessment within the proposed service area. If properties are owned jointly, the majority of owners must sign. That equates to approximately 60+ votes in favour.

The deadline for Whitecroft homeowners to vote is Tuesday, May 20 by 4 p.m. although Jones says a number of people voted the night of the meeting and at the time of print, 42 per cent had already voted in favour of fire protection. If the fire protection service is adopted, it will be implemented on January 1, 2015.

For more information, contact Ron Storie 250-377-7078, manager of community services for the TNRD.