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Letter to the editor: Fire Hall

“I believe the fire hall has been divisive for this community and is a pet project with no regard to the taxpayers of the community”

By Dave Cockburn, Creston

I moved here in 2017. I have watched the fire hall progress and attended the information session at the rec centre.

I have watched with interest the fire reports and police reports in the newspaper. As the votes got near, the reports became more informative and then they disappeared. Now in the last couple of issues they have come back, I believe to help justify expenditure but in fact, creating the opposite. There was one issue last year that said the fire department was overworked, as they had a lot of call-outs that week. I think it was five and no fires.

We don’t have a lot of fires!

We don’t have many building fires.

The majority of call-outs are not fire-related.

Believe me, I am not anti-fire dept. I had a heart attack in 2013 and they were first to arrive. There is a reason for that. In most big cities there are more fire halls than ambulance centres. Here we have paramedics and it appears that it is them that need accommodated.

The justification for a new hall is smoke and mirrors with some wishes thrown in.

If anything it seems the paramedics need a separate building. The FD building should be upgraded. There is probably no need for a gym, it is on a wishlist, as I understand the FD have access to the gym at the rec centre. I don’t know how many full-time firefighters there are. I am told most are part-time.

Since I was 16 till I retired, I supplied my own food at work, and a small kitchen is a good thing, stove and fridge are reasonable. A gourmet kitchen is not.

I worked for a major automotive company and was heavily involved in many multi-million dollar projects. I have seen the escalation of quotes and the resulting cost overruns with uncontrolled wish lists all appearing justifiable on the surface. I have been part of the wish lists creation and also been part of getting back to reality.

I have never seen a project come in under budget. Cost overruns are common as the people who agree to the contract do not read the details and the small print.

I believe the fire hall has been divisive for this community and is a pet project with no regard to the taxpayers of the community.

The NEW firehall idea should be abandoned and someone with no vested interest look at the alternatives.

I came from Mississauga and my taxes here are comparable to Mississauga. That is a disgrace for a town of 5,000 people. I am told the highest taxed small town of comparable size in B.C.

Obviously we are living above our means. Many people in this community are on fixed incomes and cannot afford the increase in tax, especially in these trying times.

Thank-you for letting me vent.

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