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City of Castlegar using alternative approval process for fire truck loan

Residents submit opposition to the proposal, rather than vote in a referendum
The City of Castlegar needs to retire its 2004 Spartan Fire Engine. Photo: Betsy Kline

The City of Castlegar is using an alternative approval process in order to finance the purchase of a new fire truck.

This means that rather than voting to approve the expenditure, residents that are opposed to it have to voice their objections.

As part of the 2023 - 2027 capital plan, council already approved the replacement of the city’s 2004 Spartan Engine and using debt to finance it.

The vehicle reaches the end of its useful life for fire operations in 2024. Keeping the vehicle in use after that point would impact the city’s Fire Underwriters Survey rating and result in increased insurance premiums for all properties in the city.

The new $1.64 million custom pumper fire truck will come from Rocky Mountain Phoenix.

The reason the purchase has to be approved by residents is that it will push the city beyond its five-per-cent borrowing capacity.

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If a resident is opposed to borrowing the money, or they do not want council to proceed without a referendum being held, then they must express that opinion to the city by signing and submitting an elector response form between Aug. 31 and Oct. 2.

If 10 per cent of the city’s registered electors (632) submit elector response forms showing their opposition, the purchase would have to go to referendum or be cancelled.

Forms will be available at City Hall and available for download on the city’s website. They can be submitted to the Corporate Officer at City Hall by mail, email or dropped off in person.

Only electors of the City of Castlegar are eligible to sign the elector response forms.

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Betsy Kline

About the Author: Betsy Kline

After spending several years as a freelance writer for the Castlegar News, Betsy joined the editorial staff as a reporter in March of 2015. In 2020, she moved into the editor's position.
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