The City of Williams Lake hopes a question and answer document it released Wednesday will clarify the issue of rural fringe fire protection.
In a press release the city said the document answers questions concerning the current negotiation with the Cariboo Regional District, the cost of city fire operations, and the Williams Lake Fire Department.
Since September, the Tribune has repeatedly asked the city to clarify the CRD’s formula that indicates city residents paid $63 per $100,000 of assessment and would pay $72 per $100,000 for fire protection based on the referendum formula for a new fringe fire protection agreement with the CRD.
In the Q&A, the city partly answers that question.
“The city does not collect taxes based on individual services the way the CRD does. City taxes are collected based on overall budgeting needs. The only services that are collected individually are sewer and water, which are run as independent utilities, separate from the general operating budget.”
The city also states the CRD claims it had an agreement with the city to move to a funding formula for the service based on net residential assessment and the city claims city council never committed to that formula.
In 2011, the city paid approximately $1.34 million of the $2.07 million cost for fire operations, capital project, and the loan payment on the fire hall, representing 65 per cent of the cost.
Rural residents, in 2011, paid approximately $727,000 for fire operations, capital projects and the debenture payment on the fire hall.