The Cariboo Regional District says it is holding alternative approval processes to approve using 10-year financing for the purchase of new fire trucks for the Barlow Creek and Deka Lake volunteer fire departments.

“Both Barlow Creek and Deka Lake volunteer fire departments need to replace one of their fire trucks so that their trucks meet Canadian certification requirements,” explains John Massier, CRD Vice-Chair, and Electoral Area C Director. “If the trucks are not replaced, property owners will not qualify for fire insurance discounts within those fire protection areas.”

Each engine/pumper truck will cost approximately $455,000.

Because the purchasing costs will be spread out, the CRD says the 10-year debt financing will have the least impact on tax rates and helps the fire departments build up savings for future maintenance and truck replacements.

Under the 10-year financing model, the Barlow Creek Fire Protection Area budget will see an overall tax increase of 3.4% each year over the next 5-year financial plan (2020-2024), which includes both the property and parcel tax. The Deka Lake Fire Protection Area budget will see only inflationary tax increases of 2.5% each year over the next 5-year financial plan (2020-2024).

The CRD says the proposed changes will go ahead unless at least 10 percent of qualified electors in the protection areas object and submit a signed Elector Response Form by 4 p.m. on March 2, 2020.