Cariboo Regional District residents in the fringe areas of Williams Lake will head to the polls on Saturday, Nov. 24 to decide their future fire protection services. Residents within electoral areas D, E and F will participate in two separate referendums.
A CRD press release says that based on the results of the survey that was distributed at the CRD Fire Protection meeting on Sept. 12, residents of areas D and E and a portion of the fringe area of Electoral Area F will decide if they wish to continue having their service provided by the City of Williams Lake Volunteer Fire Department.
If this referendum is successful, affected residents would pay up to $140 per $100,000 of residential assessment. If the vote is defeated, residents will no longer have fire protection effective Jan. 1, 2013. For residents in portions of Area F, who lived within the 13-kilometre service area of the 150 Mile House Volunteer Fire Department, the referendum question will ask if residents wish to have their service provided by the 150 Mile House Volunteer Fire Department.
If this referendum is successful, affected residents would pay approximately $68 per $100,000 of residential assessment. Again, if this vote is defeated, residents within this fire protection boundary will no longer have fire protection effective Jan. 1, 2013.
Area F Director Joan Sorley says while lots of people filled out the surveys for Area E and Area D, not too many from Area F did.
“We only got 15 responses from Area F on the surveys so that’s not conclusive, and it was pretty much half and half,” Sorley said. “I don’t know why. I did get quite a few phone calls and e-mails and have enough information about the fire department at 150 Mile.”
Both 150 Mile House and Wildwood fire departments are certified and train to the same standards as the Williams Lake Fire Department, she added.
“We really have to get the word out about the referendum. People think they have a choice of what service to go to, but that’s not the question. We’re asking them yes or no if they want fire protection. The directors have made the decision as to what their choice is. There are people in Area F that are further than 13 km from 150 Mile hall so their question will be to do with Williams Lake. They still have the opportunity to have fire protection from Williams Lake.”
Anyone with questions about the referendum can contact the following: Area D – Alternate Director G. W. (Bill) Carruthers at 250-392-6763 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Area E – Director Byron Kemp at 250-392-5037 or email@example.com; or Area F – Director Joan Sorley at 250- 243-2261 or firstname.lastname@example.org.