The Comox Valley Regional District is moving forward with an Alternative Approval Process (AAP) to help finance construction and equipping of a new Greater Merville Fire Protection Service fire hall.
“An AAP is a formal process whereby the board notifies the electors of its intent to proceed with adoption of a bylaw (or other matter) unless at least 10 per cent of the electors register their opposition against the initiative, in which case the bylaw or other matter may not be adopted without first obtaining the assent of the electors by voting,” explains Jake Martens, CVRD general manager of corporate services.
The development of an auxiliary fire hall, centrally located within the Greater Merville area, has been identified as a key initiative since 2016. A new fire hall will provide several benefits to the community, including improved life-safety services for residents, and may reduce fire insurance premiums for insured residences.
“Based on the design, engineer’s estimates and the estimated cost of firefighting equipment, the AAP seeks elector permission to borrow a maximum of $2 million for this project,” said CVRD fire services manager James Bast. “The term of the debt will be determined based on affordability, life of the building with a maximum debt retirement to be no more than 25 years.”
Only eligible voters in the Greater Merville Fire Protection Service Area are subject to this initiative and entitled to participate in the AAP. The total number of electors has been fairly determined to be 2,733 of which 10 per cent, or 273, must submit elector response forms to prevent the CVRD board from adopting a fire hall construction loan authorization bylaw.
Elector response forms are available online from the CVRD website or at its office at 770 Harmston Ave. in Courtenay. The deadline for delivering signed forms is 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 7. Forms must be received before the deadline to be counted. Forms may be delivered in person, by fax or by email, and must include the elector’s signature. For this reason, forms submitted by email must be printed and signed before being submitted electronically.