Hornby Island fire hall project AAP begins this week

83 electors must oppose project to send it to referendum

  • Dec. 1, 2014 7:00 a.m.

The Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) board of directors is seeking elector approval to adopt a bylaw to borrow $1.6 million over 20 years to help pay for the construction of a new fire hall on Hornby Island.

The CVRD is using the Alternative Approval Process in order to gain assent of the electorate.

The AAP is a process that measures the number of people opposed to a motion. The authority for a local government to adopt a bylaw, within the alternative approval process, is granted if fewer than 10 per cent of eligible electors in the area covered by the alternate approval process vote against the bylaw by submitting elector response forms.

The total number of electors within the Hornby Island fire protection service to which the alternative approval process applies is determined to be 834 of which 10 per cent, or 83, must submit elector response forms to prevent the Comox Valley Regional District board from adopting the fire hall construction loan authorization bylaw without first obtaining the assent of the electors by way of referendum.

Dec. 4 is the first day the AAP elector response form [PDF – 544 KB] will be available on the CVRD website and at the front counter of the CVRD head office, 600 Comox Road, Courtenay. The deadline for receiving completed AAP forms will be 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015.

The project, which includes planning, design, communications and public consultation, is identified as an operational priority on the CVRD board’s strategic plan.

“A new fire hall would provide a safer workplace for volunteers and would be built to post-disaster standards to ensure that fire and medical emergency response equipment are available after a destructive earthquake,” said Bruce Jolliffe, director for Baynes Sound – Denman/Hornby Island (Area ‘A’).   “The CVRD has secured a one hectare grant of Crown land for the fire hall site located across Central Road from the current fire hall.”

The $1.9 million project would be funded by $1.6 million in debt financing, $200,000 in federal gas tax (Community Works) funding and $100,000 from reserves. Should the project gain elector approval, borrowed funds will be paid back through tax requisition. The net increase to the average property, assessed at approximately $455,000, would be approximately $24 per year.

More information on the AAP can be found at www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/aap and project details can be found at www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/hornbyislandfirehall .