The Deep Bay Fire Rescue Society (DBFRS) is raising money to offset the cost of a new fire hall, which would otherwise see 600 ratepayers dish out more than $1 million.
“We’re trying to soften the blow (for ratepayers),” said Arlene Veenhof, DBFRS president.
Veenhof explains Deep Bay’s fire department will require a new fire truck in 2018 to comply with its insurance provider’s standards. The new vehicle will not fit in the current fire hall, so a larger fire hall is slated to be built to accommodate the fire truck as well as address current seismic constraints of the existing building.
“The insurance underwriters require a new fire truck every x number of years regardless of the condition of the last fire truck,” said Veenhof, adding she doesn’t believe there is anything wrong with the current fire truck which may be kept as a back-up truck.
“However, the reason it is important to maintain these standards is because the insurance of ratepayers is based on the safety level of our fire station.”
Veenhof said if the community’s fire trucks are too old, home insurance will go up.
“We’ve been taxing to cover the cost of the fire truck but not the fire hall,” she said. “When the time comes there will be a shortage of money.”
Veenhof said a select committee is currently being formed to study the design needs of the new fire hall including issues of size, location, cost and construction.
Veenhof said she was aware of the price communities like Nanoose Bay and Qualicum Beach have, or will be paying for new fire halls (up to $5 million).
“We really don’t know what the costs will be yet,” said Veenhof. “We just need a garage. We don’t need a big, fancy building.”
In an effort to curb the cost for ratepayers, the society has been avidly raising funds and awareness within Deep Bay. Last Saturday the organization hosted a garage sale for the new fire hall.
“We raised community awareness of our (DBFRS) existence and the need for people to get involved. We sold more memberships than I thought we would and raised some cash for the society,” said DBFRS past president Don Milburn. “While it will not build us a new fire hall it is a start in the right direction.”
For more information about the Deep Bay Fire Rescue Society contact Arlene Veenhof at 778-424-2810. If you are interested in becoming part of the select committee contact the Deep Bay Improvement District office.