Kamloops, BC – October 19, 2023 – In response to input received during public consultation, the Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) will not be moving forward with a formal public assent process to establish a new fire protection service in 70 Mile House, within Electoral Area “E” (Bonaparte Plateau). This means that the 70 Mile Fire Department Association will continue to administer the 70 Mile Fire Department with no involvement of the TNRD.
During the public consultation process, residents were asked whether the TNRD should hold a referendum for the TNRD to take over administration of the 70 Mile Fire Department. The proposed service would have been funded through property taxes.
A feasibility study for the 70 Mile Fire Department was completed as of September 4, 2023, which examined capital requirements and operating budgets if the TNRD were to take on administration of the existing fire department. The Board approved the feasibility study in May 2022, in alignment with TNRD Board Policy 14.1.4 which states that a feasibility study must be conducted prior to the TNRD proceeding with a public assent process to administer a new fire service.
As part of public consultation, the TNRD hosted a public meeting on September 11, 2023, where staff shared the feasibility study and provided a detailed presentation about the proposed fire service. The independent 70 Mile Fire Department Association also presented an option at the meeting of how they could continue to administer the department through a membership fee model, meaning there would be no funding from property taxes.
A public survey was conducted for 70 Mile residents during September 2023. All of the materials shared with residents, and survey results, are available on the TNRD website.
Beginning in 2024, property taxes which were previously collected by the TNRD to fund the grant-in-aid service for fire protection in 70 Mile will end.
The 70 Mile Fire Department Association plans to have a subsequent meeting with the community regarding their proposed membership fees model. As this service is separate from the TNRD, residents are encouraged to contact the Association regarding next steps.
Jamie Vieira, General Manager of Operations
Thompson-Nicola Regional District
Tel.: 250 377-7197