Disaster Protection For About A Dollar a Week

On Monday, September 16th, I watched extensive television coverage of the natural disasters associated with flooding both in Mexico and in Colorado. And, of course, that coverage brought the recent flooding in Southern Alberta back to mind. I next went off to that evening’s Fire Board meeting where our elected Trustees took the next steps necessary for holding a referendum on funding a new Fire Hall/Emergency Operations Centre.

There’s been a great deal of “sound and fury” about that Hall. But, as currently designed and for about a dollar a week for the average home owner, a building that will meet Salt Spring’s needs for the next fifty years seems like the biggest bargain in town. With such a Hall, we would be as prepared as we could be for any emergency, be it fire, flood or earthquake.

The plans have now been finalized, and a cost of $5,000,000 to the community established. The use of the project manager system will maximize the amount of construction work down by the local trades. Also, efforts are now under way to find a community appropriate initiative (no McDonald’s!) to occupy the space in Ganges the Fire Department will be leaving. All this makes it clear that our local Fire Board has done all that it could to develop a project that meets a wide range of community needs at a cost the community can afford to pay.

I could go on at length but I won’t. Rather, and in the tradition of full disclosure, I will close by confessing to a bias. For a number of years I periodically had to call upon our Fire Department to provide First Responder Assistance to my late wife. They were always here for us as they will be for you should you need their assistance. No “ifs, ands, buts or maybe” on their part so let’s have none on ours. For about a dollar a week to the average home owner, let’s build the Emergency Operations Centre Salt Spring needs so badly.

Stan Shapiro

September 25, 2013 8:00 AM