$1 million Community Works Fund agreement in principle for Salt Spring Island fire hall

The Salt Spring Island Fire Protection District (SSIFPD) announced today an agreement in principle with the Capital Regional District (CRD) for a $1 million Community Works Fund (gas tax) contribution towards construction of a proposed new fire hall on Salt Spring Island. This arrangement with the CRD is contingent on approval by Fire District ratepayers to build a new fire hall.

“Should the referendum pass, the CRD will work with the SSIFPD to facilitate transfer of federal funding to support construction of a new fire hall to replace the current building,” said CRD Director Gary Holman. “This agreement will allow us to reduce the cost for ratepayers of creating a much-needed new fire hall and illustrates how the CRD can work effectively with our fire district in a way that benefits the community.”

A referendum is being scheduled for the end of June in which all SSIFPD ratepayers will be asked if they approve the fire department borrowing $9.7 million to build a new fire hall, which has been proposed on a donated site near Brinkworthy.

The Chair of the SSIFPD Board of Trustees, Rollie Cook, said “This is a win for our community. If the upcoming referendum passes, the Fire Department is able to access opportunities that are not available without the support of the CRD.”

Fire Chief Jamie Holmes pointed out that “The current Fire Hall building is no longer fit to be used for its original purpose. By working with the CRD to access federal funding, we can build the new fire hall without increasing property taxes.”

Avatar of Salt Spring News

By Salt Spring News

Salt Spring Exchange news and editorial account for general public news, community contributed stories and official news releases.

May 16, 2022 1:40 PM

  • SSIDancer says:

    This should be interesting. A community with one of the highest per capita incomes and residential property values per sq.ft. in the province, justifying rejecting once again, an increase to their tax bill of $10-$15 a month.

  • sherryparnell says:

    Have you seen the needs that are not being met here on Salt Spring. Oh I forgot, there is a building going up for those at the previous Seabreeze Inn to live in. Apparently that leaves like what, 10 units available for approximately 150 homeless. And that's their fix? But no, we need a new firehall. I don't get it.

  • GG says:

    "for a $1 million Community Works Fund (gas tax) contribution towards construction of a proposed new fire hall"
    GAS TAX? OH?????

    Owner on SSI since 2014 - what the ....?

  • SSIDancer says:

    This article just published in community news addresses the housing issue:

    https://saltspringexchange.com/2022/05/17/your-input-informs-islands-trust-bylaw-drafting/

  • Nigel Page says:

    We have three, three Fire stations for one island.

  • Nigel Page says:

    Oh, dear. The Seabreeze is not for the homeless, it's owned by the hospital. They are for the nurses. The homeless are being moved to a building site on drake road.

  • SSIDancer says:

    Call Peter Grove, Laura Patrick or Gary Holman and one of them will clue you in as to the fund.

  • T. M. H says:

    We drove through Lytton the day it burned to the ground and in the days after that, wildfires ravaged our beloved Nicola Valley not to mention many other locations through the interior. Last summers fire in Cowichan should be our first clue and unless you have your head planted firmly in the sand, the signs are most definitely here on SSI and it's only a matter of time. Calling in reinforcements from neighbouring municipalities isn't as easy for this island. Developing and maintaining a modern, state-of-the-art fire and rescue infrastructure should be a no-brainer.

  • Julia Lucich says:

    Ordinarily, Improvement Districts (e.g., the SSFire Protection District, NSSWater District, etc.) are prohibited from receiving provincial or federal grant funds, so it. would be helpful to know if this offer from the CRD comes with any strings attached. In other words, will the CRD have control/oversight of any kind in order to obtain these funds. So far I haven't read anything from Mr. Holman or the Fire Trustees which addresses that question.