Kamloops, BC – August 24, 2022 – The Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) has had to delay the process of recommending the Board of Directors to initiate a referendum for fire protection service in Cherry Creek, due to amendments that will need to be made.
“Unfortunately, this will delay the referendum process. Staff will need to bring forward a new recommendation and new bylaws to the Board of Directors, and acquire approval from the Inspector of Municipalities. This means that a referendum on fire protection for Cherry Creek will not occur on October 15, 2022, as originally planned,” said Jamie Vieira, TNRD Deputy General Manager of Operations.
Following public consultation with Cherry Creek residents, TNRD staff prepared two draft bylaws on establishing fire protection services for Cherry Creek, and authorizing a loan to cover Cherry Creek’s portion of constructing a new fire hall.
On August 17, 2022, TNRD staff were informed by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs that the TNRD could not proceed with the proposed model for establishing fire protection service in Cherry Creek. This was due to the proposed model of having separate fire protection services areas, of Cherry Creek and Tobiano, fund a single fire department. As an alternative, the Ministry has proposed a bylaw amendment to expand the Tobiano Fire Protection Service Establishment Bylaw to include Cherry Creek, which would require public assent to be adopted.
“In other words, staff will need to prepare a bylaw that will propose to create a larger fire protection service area to cover Tobiano and Cherry Creek, instead of two separate service areas,” Vieira stated.
Separately, public assent will also be required to borrow funds for constructing a new fire hall to serve Tobiano and Cherry Creek. In 2018, Tobiano residents approved up to $1 million to fund construction of a new fire hall. If the new service area is expanded, the previous Tobiano borrowing approval would be cancelled and a new assent vote would be needed to allow borrowing of up to $2 million for properties in Tobiano and Cherry Creek.
Later in 2022, staff will bring forward a new recommendation to the Board of Directors with updated timelines on this process. More information will be forthcoming to communities in the coming weeks. If approved by the Board of Directors, a referendum could take place in the first half of 2023.
As part of public consultation for proposed fire protection service in Cherry Creek, a community survey showed that 63% of respondents are in support of proceeding with a referendum.
Jamie Vieira, Deputy General Manager of Operations
Thompson-Nicola Regional District
Tel.: 250 377-8673