Letter: New fire hall should be built on old property

A Lake Country reader unimpressed with fire hall proposition

To the editor:

Here we go again removing approximately five acres from the ALR and this is by a district that claims to be pro-agriculture and committed to preserving our rural lifestyle. Since they have received approval from the ALC for non-farm use of the property they are now asking you to approve the borrowing of 6.6 million for a new fire hall that should be built on the highway 97 corridor in the town centre area where 90 per cent of there call outs are.

Firefighters seldom go to actual fires the majority of the calls are medical in nature or motor vehicle crashes. Don’t get me wrong we need firefighters and I have the most respect for them but do we need a $9 million fire hall on ALR land.

Let’s put this in perspective in dollars and the cost to each homeowner. A tax increase of $90 annually for the next 20 years. The district is short $500,000 so a 4.5 per cent tax increase is proposed too close the gap. If you own a home worth $600,000 that’s a tax increase of $270. Don’t forget the $125 road tax every year. A proposed study for $50,000 would look at the feasibility of a pool and a second sheet of ice. A $20 million pool would cost $400 per household a year.

A second sheet of ice costing $10 million would cost each household $200 per year until paid for.

They are big spenders for a population of 13,000. We’ll assume that they don’t build the pool or the second sheet of ice. Based on the above your taxes are going to increase by $485 per year. If this fire hall is built Lake Country will be the envy of every fire hall from Victoria to Ft Saint John.

Do we need a new fire hall, probably but do we need a $9 million dollar hall.

Let’s sell the five-acre proposed site, sell the existing fire hall property and build a new fire hall downtown where it should be.

Before you vote on the referendum check your wallet to see how much money you have left.

George Swarchuk

Lake Country

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