City, CSRD close to reaching agreement on fire protection services in Electoral Area B

Council to discuss a proposed 10-year agreement.

A Revelstoke Fire Rescue Services water tender truck relays water from city hydrants to a fire on the Stella-Jones pole yard property in CSRD Area B in May of 2016. The fire was caused by a controlled debris burn that got out of hand after it was whipped up by winds. File photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer

The City of Revelstoke could soon be back providing fire protection services for Columbia Shuswap Regional District Electoral Area B.

Council will discuss a recommendation to give first, second and third readings to an amended bylaw at their upcoming regular council meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 14. Negotiations between the city and the CSRD for a new fire protection agreement have been ongoing for a number of years and even resulted in the two parties going to supreme court at one point. 

A report to council notes that after failing to reach consensus on a new agreement both the city and CSRD agreed to use the services of a mediator. On July 18, 2018 representatives from the city and the CSRD met with Simon Margolis a mediator with CMB Mediation and Arbitration in Vancouver. At the mediation the parties agreed to amended agreement. The new agreement is for a 10 year term and will provide full fire protection services as identified in the draft bylaw. Funding for the service will be based on assessed property values, plus a 10 per cent surcharge to cover city costs not included in the Fire Rescue Department Budget.

Under the amended agreement the city will acquire a water tender and a utility task vehcile or rough terrain vehicle. The CSRD has agreed to pay up to $250,000 and $50,000 for those items, respectively, on presentation of an invoice from the city.

Other items in the amended agreement include:

-A provision for the CSRD to pay any penalties for responding to false alarms in the rural service area if the city has invoiced a property owner who has neglected to pay.

-A process for referral of the Fire Rescue Department’s annual budget to the CSRD for review.

-An annual report regarding the fire protection service be prepared and presented to the CSRD.

Click here to read a copy of the proposed agreement.