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Residents to vote on buying new fire engines for North Shore, Winlaw, Tarrys

The current engines must be replaced within the next two years
The Regional District of Central Kootenay says new fire engines are needed for the North Shore, Winlaw and Tarrys departments. Photo: Submitted

The Regional District of Central Kootenay will ask residents to finance three new fire engines in referendums scheduled for Dec. 2.

New engines are needed for the North Shore Fire Service, the Slocan Valley Fire Service, and the Tarrys and Pass Creek Fire Service.

An RDCK release issued Tuesday says the new engines cost up to $750,000 each. A referendum is required to approve financing over 20 years, which the regional district says will reduce the burden on tax payers.

Active fire engines are required to be less than 25 years old. North Shore’s engine needs to be replaced in 2024, while the Tarrys and Winlaw engines must be replaced in 2025.

RDCK regional fire chief Nora Hannon said the engines will be bought as a group to save costs.

“Fire Service staff realize the inflationary pressures facing our communities and are working to reduce the impact by asking residents to approve long term financing rather than pay over a shorter five-year term.”

Area F will vote to approve a 20-year financing term of up to $368,018 for North Shore Fire Department, with the remainder paid for by capital reserves and the provincial government’s Growing Communities Fund.

“These are essential replacements for our local fire departments,” said Tom Newell, Area F Director. “While the long-term financing is the ideal course of action, it is important for the community to come out for these referendums and have their voices heard.”

Area I meanwhile will vote for approval under the same terms for up to $623,255 for the Tarrys engine. The service has already received $126,745 from the Growing Communities Fund.

The Village of Slocan as well as portions of Area H and I will vote to fund the entirety of the $750,000 engine for the Winlaw department, which services Slocan, Winlaw, Passmore and Crescent Valley Fire Protection Areas.

The Growing Communities Fund has already been spent for that area on a new engine for the the Crescent Valley this year.

Advanced voting starts Nov. 22 with polls open Dec. 2. A 50 per cent approval is required to pass the spending.

Three open houses will also be held in October. They include:

• Winlaw Fire Department

Tuesday, Oct. 10

6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

5741 Highway 6, Winlaw

• Tarrys Fire Department

Wednesday, Oct. 11

6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

2103 Highway 3A, Castlegar

• North Shore Fire Department

Sunday, Oct. 15

3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

2703 Greenwood Road, Nelson