Public meeting on volunteer fire service proposal

The Thompson Nicola Regional District (TNRD) will hold a public meeting on Friday, July 22 at 7 p.m. in the Heffley Creek Community Hall regarding the proposal to establish a volunteer fire service in the area. The proposed fire protection service will encompass Whitecroft, Heffley Lake, Little Heffley Lake and the surrounding area.

Bill Brock, Whitecroft and Heffley Lakes Fire Association chair, encourages everyone to come out and be a part of the petition process.

“Irrespective of whether it’s positive or negative, we’d like as many people as possible to comment on the proposal by voting,” he said.

The approximately 280 property owners who live within eight kilometres of the proposed fire hall will be eligible to sign the petition at the meeting, said Jim Davies, secretary of the Whitecroft and Heffley Lakes Fire Association. If the proposed fire service is approved, the fire hall will be located at the abandoned gravel pit on the east end of Heffley Lake.

A person doesn’t have to be a Canadian citizen nor a resident to sign the petition. The only requirement is that the person has to own a property in the proposed service area.

“It just makes it easier to provide the opportunity for everybody to have a say,” said Liz Cornwell, TNRD’s deputy clerk and manager of community services.

Property owners can sign the petition at the meeting or mail a signed form. The TNRD will send to property owners information packages that include facts on the proposal, a map of the proposed service area, and a mail-in form for the petition. To ensure that your signature is counted, the form must be received by the TNRD by Sept. 15.

In order for the petition to pass, at least 50 per cent of the eligible property owners must have signed the petition, and the signatories must represent at least 50 per cent of the net taxable value of all the property in the service area.

If there are more than two owners of a property, the majority has to sign to make it eligible.

The proposed fire protection service would require approximately $1 million in capital budget and approximately $160,000 in annual operating budget.

For more information, contact Bill Brock at 250-434-8962.

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