- District of Lake Country

Council to approve borrowing of $6.6 million for new Lake Country fire hall

Council will decide Tuesday night if the district should borrow up to $6.6 million for a new hall

Lake Country’s new council will be deciding on whether to pass a bylaw Tuesday night which will allow for the construction of a new fire hall in Okanagan Centre.

If approved, the loan authorization bylaw will allow the district to borrow up to $6.6 million for the construction of the hall.

Lake Country residents gave a resounding yes during the hall’s referendum, held on the same day as the election on Oct. 20, with 1,724 votes compared to those who voted no with 1,026.

READ MORE: Baker remains Lake Country’s mayor, fire hall upgrade approved

Over the years the new fire hall was met with controversy and a similar referendum for a new hall was defeated in 2008.

Some Lake Country residents were upset about the cost and the placement of the new hall, but the hall’s new home on Okanagan Centre Road East was decided because of a study which determined it would be able to reach the most amount of structures with the new location, said Mayor James Baker, in a previous interview with The Calendar.

READ MORE: Lake Country’s proposed fire hall a ‘Taj Mahal,’ says critic

The loan will be paid in a period of 20 years at about $476,000 per year at a borrowing rate of 3.5 per cent, according to the District of Lake Country’s website. The cost to an average home of $656,000 would be $90 per year for 20 years.

The talk around a new fire hall also tied with discussions about wildfire mitigation, which was a hot issue after the Nighthawk Road wildfire in Okanagan Centre destroyed eight homes in 2017. Insured losses equalled more than $13 million.

Lake Country’s new councillors Cara Reed and Jerremy Kozub also showed their support for a new fire hall during the election campaign.

@carliberry_
carli.berry@kelownacapnews.com

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