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Charlie Lake fire protection expansion proposed

Public engagement planned to start in May

The Peace River Regional District is looking to bring 175 properties within Charlie Lake fire protection boundaries.

The board approved Thursday the start of public engagement with residents in Sawyer Subdivision, Red Creek South, Bear Flats, and South Montney to seek their support to expand current boundaries.

“Following wildfires in the region in 2016 and throughout the province in 2017 and 2018, staff and the Electoral Area C Director received a number of requests to expand the Charlie Lake fire protection boundaries to provide service to an increased number of properties in both Area C and Area B,” reads an April 29 report from Community Services Manager Trish Morgan.

The proposed expansion area was first reviewed in 2018, and has also been reviewed with Electoral Area B and C Directors Karen Goodings and Brad Sperling, “who would like to move forward with utilizing the consent process following extensive public engagement,” the report stated.

Under the Local Government Act, that allows the directors to provide their written consent to proceed with bylaw amendments if there's enough support to expand the boundaries.

“I’m assuming that is conditional on the approval from the residents?” asked Director Karen Goodings.

Replied CAO Shawn Dahlen: “If the area director feels that the residents are in favour they have the opportunity to give written consent for it to move forward.”

If the boundary is expanded, the PRRD expects to collect an estimated $30,001.86 in taxes that it says would be added to capital reserves to pay for equipment and apparatus replacement, as well as future installation of dry hydrants.

Public engagement is planned to start in mid-May and end mid-July, and will include direct mailout of information packages, surveys, and virtual town halls, among other efforts.

Tom Summer, Local Journalism Initiative. Email