By Max Winkelman
Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) has officially given the green light to an assent vote (referendum) or petition on whether or not the TNRD should create several fire protection service areas under their service delivery.
During its May 17 meeting, the TNRD board approved $20,000 to conduct the assent votes, with the referendums scheduled to take place on June 23 and a July 6 deadline for the petitions.
Property owners in Little Fort voted 50 to two in favour of having the TNRD conduct a petition assent process to determine if there should be a fire protection service adminstered by the regional district.
They carried out the vote during a public meeting held April 23.
Litte Fort is one of several fire departments within the TNRD run by a society.
Earlier this year the TNRD board voted to stop funding all society-run fire departments by the end of 2022, mostly for liability reasons.
The decision follows the introduction of the Structure Firefighters Competency and Training Playbook by the Office of the Fire Commissioner in 2014 and WorkSafeBC rules and regulations that impacted VFDs due to liability concerns.
The proposed service area for the new fire service would be the same as it is now, plus 17 properties located along Highway 5 between Little Fort and Blackpool.
The intention is to eventually amalgamate the Little Fort and Blackpool fire departments.
Overall, referendums will be held for Loon Lake, McLure and South Green Lake, while Little Fort and Tobiano will conduct theirs through petitions.