Barlow Creek Fire Hall on Aird Road, near Quesnel. April Cameron photo

CRD to hire external auditor to review Barlow Creek Fire Department budgets

The audit comes after taxes increased in the community near Quesnel

The Cariboo Regional District is hiring an external auditor to conduct a financial audit of the Barlow Creek Fire Protection service budgets from the 2016 and 2017 fiscal years.

The decision was made in an in-camera board meeting and then released to the public. It followed the release of an article in the Observer about a new tax increase for residents of the Barlow Creek Fire Protection service area.

Taxes in the area are set to increase — first by 30 per cent from 2017 to 2018, then by an additional two per cent per year, in the 2018-2022 five year financial plan — following a “substantial overrun” of the fire department’s budget last year.

The decision to hire an external auditor was already in consideration before the release of the article, says Emily Epp, the manager of communications for the CRD. But, she adds, the decision was “pushed along” by the response from the public, following the release of the article.

READ MORE: Residents to foot the bill for “substantial overrun” of Barlow Creek Fire Department’s 2017 budget

“It was something that we were considering,” says Epp. “It has been a long time in the works as we have been reviewing the expenses. I would say it’s a combination of what we were thinking and hearing from the public, and realizing that they’re hoping for a more thorough financial audit.”

A press release from the CRD says that “upon initial investigation, the additional spending was mainly on training, equipment and maintenance for the fire department.”

In the press release, chief administrative officer (CAO) John MacLean says the CRD has conducted an initial review of the expenses, “but there are some questions that remain unanswered.”

He goes on to say the audit is not about “pointing fingers or finding blame,” but that the CRD has a responsibility to be “good stewards of the public’s money and provide financial oversight.”

After the review is completed, Epp says it will come back to the board of directors and they will decide the next steps.



heather.norman@quesnelobserver.com

Like us on Facebook

Just Posted

Hough Memorial Cancer Society raises over $84,000 in 2018

The Hough Memorial Cancer Society thanks our community for their generous donations of 2018.

WLSA Outdoor Adventure Program back for second season

“There are roads all over the place we can explore with some really nice scenery.”

Lakecity to host Provincial Mine Rescue and First Aid Competition June 1

Williams Lake will be hosting the 2019 Provincial Mine Rescue and First Aid Competition

WEB POLL: Are the penalties for human-caused wildfires strict enough?

The BC Wildfire Service estimates, on average, 40 per cent of wildfires in B.C. are person-caused.

FOREST INK: BC and Canadian pulp industry doing better

The recent announcement of the Tolko lumber mill closure in Quesnel this… Continue reading

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Growing wildfire prompts evacuation of High Level, Alta.

Chuckegg Creek fire has been burning for several day, but grew substantially Sunday

Top women’s hockey player Natalie Spooner coming to B.C.

Natalie Spooner special guest at annual Grindstone charity weekend in Kelowna

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

Father and two youngsters fall down a steep, treacherous cliff while hiking Burke Mountain

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Most Read