A drawing of the new fire hall proposed for Cumberland. Image, Finlayson Bonet Architecture/MKM Projects

Cumberland’s fire hall borrowing to go for voter assent

Alternative approval process deadline to be set for Dec. 2

The Village of Cumberland is moving ahead on getting electors’ approval for its proposed fire hall. At the Sept. 30 meeting, council approved motions to set out the process to gain electoral assent in order for the Village to borrow $4.2 million for the project.

As a result, any electors who want to express the objections must submit a response to the Village by a deadline of Dec. 2, 2019. Council opted to gain voter assent through the alternative approval process (AAP), as opposed to going to referendum.

At the latest meeting, staff presented council with numbers of electors used to determine the minimum 10 per cent threshold that has to be reached if electors are to defeat the borrowing bylaw. According to staff, the number of electors was determined to be 2,958 but with non-resident voters accounted, the total comes to 3,100. Subsequently, the AAP threshold is set at 310.

On its website, the Province notes that the AAP may be used in situations “such as disposal of certain utilities or specified parkland, municipal boundary extensions, and municipal loan authorization bylaws,” for which they need the approval of electors.

The process used to be known as a counter-petition.

RELATED STORY: Cumberland tackles funding for wastewater site, firehall

The decision at council was not unanimous. Coun. Jesse Ketler did not question the need for a new fire hall but expressed concerns both at the Sept. 30 meeting and the previous meeting about the scale of the project, and what the level of borrowing could mean to Village finances. She was the only vote against the AAP motion.

She suggested the design, which was on the agenda at the Sept. 9 meeting, could have incorporated other community uses, such as affordable co-op housing, which could be developed to offset the price. She also noted the community is getting closer to a population of 5,000, at which point it would require RCMP.

“The public are going to decide,” she said. “I just wish we would have given them more options.”

Mayor Leslie Baird responded that RCMP would be stationed in Courtenay, as the detachment covers the Comox Valley region, so the Village would not need its own detachment.

Finally, council had to vote on a budget amendment associated with the borrowing bylaw for the new fire hall. Because of changes to estimates, this amendment will increase the figure from $4 million to $4.2 million. Council also passed this, with Ketler voting in opposition.

At the Sept. 9 meeting, Kyle Schick of Finlayson Bonet Architecture and Jordan Almond of MKM Projects presented the updated designs for the new building to house the Cumberland Fire Department. Fire Chief Mike Williamson also talked at the same meeting about reasons a new structure was necessary, in particular, to have a building to cover equipment, especially if the department has to add a ladder truck in the future to protect higher buildings, as well as concerns about the stability of the current building.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Successful removal of invasive plants in Comox park

The Friends of Mack Laing Nature Park (FMLNP) organized an ‘Invasive Pull… Continue reading

Craigdarroch residents find ways to help each other online and off

Neighbourhood of about 200 households lies between Royston and Union Bay

Comox Valley mayors say residents adhering to public health directives

The Comox Valley’s three mayors all say that while Public Safety Minister… Continue reading

Gardens offer solace in these troubled times

Ellen Presley Special to The Record We really are living in an… Continue reading

Comox Valley Airport open, operating at reduced hours

Hours of operation will be adapted to coincide with changes to flight schedules during pandemic

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

Comox Valley grocers going extra mile during coronavirus

We have had numerous requests to post a fluid article directing consumers… Continue reading

Liberals delay release of 75% wage subsidy details, costs: Morneau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

World COVID-19 update: NATO suspicious of Russian military drills; Cruise ships ordered to stay at sea

Comprehensive update of coronavirus news from around the world for Wednesday, April 1

6.5-magnitude earthquake in Idaho shakes B.C. Interior

An earthquake was reportedly felt just before 5 p.m. throughout the Okanagan

John Horgan extends B.C.’s state of emergency for COVID-19

Premier urges everyone to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice

Two inmates at prison housing Robert Pickton test positive for COVID-19

Correctional Service of Canada did not release any details on the identities of the inmates

BC SPCA launches matching campaign to help vulnerable animals after big donations

Two BC SPCA donors have offered up to $65,000 in matching donations

Quarantined B.C. mom say pandemic has put special-needs families in ‘crisis mode’

Surrey’s Christine Williams shares family’s challenges, strengths

Most Read