Map of the Parksville Local Fire Protection Service Area. The five-year agreement between the Regional District of Nanaimo and City of Parksville is up for renewal. — RDN Map

RDN, Parksville set to renew fire protection agreement

City informs regional district of significant increase in annual costs

The Regional District of Nanaimo is extending the five-year agreement with the City of Parksville for the provision of fire protection in portions of Electoral Area G.

The board approved a staff recommendation at its regular meeting on Tuesday night.

The Parksville Volunteer Fire Department will provide coverage, under the agreement, from the city’s boundaries to Drew Road in French Creek, as well as within the San Pareil neighbourhood.

The agreement was first established in 2007. The current agreement ended in December, 2016, and needs to be renewed for another five years from 2017 to 2021.

Under the terms of the last agreement, the firefighting costs are divided between the two parties based on net taxable values for land and improvements.

Parksville staff has advised the RDN that the five-year annual cost will increase significantly to $8,991,855 in 2017-2021 from $6,370,609 in 2012-2016. The rise in the cost results from increased remuneration for firefighters, new staff, volunteer retention initiatives, self-contained breathing apparatus upgrades and emergency lighting.

With the unexpected increase projected for the proposed 2017 agreement, the RDN and Parksville have agreed to spread the rise in cost over the five years of the agreement. A clause will also be added to the agreement that, on or before January 31 of each year, both sides will meet to review the five-year capital plan to have the upcoming changes reflected in the RDN service area financial plans.

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