Letter To The Editor: Skeptical Anticipation

Buenas Dias, Revelstoke Neighbours,

Residents of the CSRD are waiting with skeptical anticipation for word on the status of negotiations with the fine City that we share this little stretch of heaven with.

Historically, as separate polities we’ve been able to come to a partnership agreement with no issues raised by both parties.

Until 2017. That’s when the City staff with council support trotted out a proposed agreement that was positively Trumpian.  

For our 3-5 fire related call per year outside of the fair city we would have to agree to:

  1. A reduced level of service: no entry of a dwelling under ANY circumstances.
  2. Provide the city with a 3000 gallon water tender from CSRD revenues.
  3. Provide a “specialized” apparatus to fight fires on BC Hydro lands.
  4. A 10% “administrative fee” over and above what city residents pay.
  5. A five year term for the agreement.

Who would agree to a deal that forced you to pay for a tender and a monster truck costing many hundreds of thousands in five years? An administrative fee 10% above the city’s for what’s supposedly a shared agreement? For letting neighbours perish in their dwellings?

What’s next? Are we to pay for a boundary wall?

It’s no secret that inflation takes a toll on everyone’s budget, but since 2005 the shared cost of fire service has increased about 300%.

One would wonder if this is the motivation for city mandarins to produce the fire “protection” agreement that failed to convince the courts that it was rational and fair.

As the June 1st deadline for an agreement on Fire Protection between the CSRD and the City of Revelstoke approaches, there’s been no word from either party on how the negotiations are proceeding. Surprise! It’s in the lawyer’s hands now and nobody’s talking.

So when they produce the bill for us all to pay with the court costs and no fair agreement in place, the CSRD’s contributions to the city’s rather expensive fire protection could evaporate. Add that on your $15 million deficit with elections in October.

Collectively we’ve shared the costs of building a fine fire hall, contributed to the purchase of a nice ladder truck (that has no use in the regional district), shared the escalating capital and operating costs and haven’t said boo. Now we get this take it or leave it, time sensitive ultimatum for a critical service and little rationale for it.  

It is in everyone’s best interest to negotiate a fair agreement independent of the judiciary that is clearly and publicly presented before June 1st.  

It’s what good neighbours do.

With respect,

Jim Maitre- CSRD Area B