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Fire service to begin in Area D in New Year, director confirms

Nelson Daily Editor
By Nelson Daily Editor
December 10th, 2010

By Timothy Schafer, The Nelson Daily

A long-term contract will be signed by the end of the month to provide fire service to the Ainsworth and Woodbury communities of Area D, says the regional district director for the area.

Andy Shadrack said a deal on the agreement is still in draft form, but he was certain that a conversation next week between the Village of Kaslo and the RDCK would allay any concerns.

He said he was not prepared to sign it as he has yet to see the draft form of the fire protection and assistance response agreement between the Village of Kaslo and the RDCK for the provision of fire service to portions of Area D.

But with the contract meant to go into effect Jan. 1 — and the board not meeting again until mid January — Shadrack could not give his official blessing on the contract at the Regional District of Central Kootenay board of directors meeting on Thursday afternoon in Nelson.

As a result, Shadrack made an amendment to the motion to the board to authorize the signing of the agreement for fire protection on the condition he meet with the Village next week to sign it. The motion passed.

An Area D fire service petition process result in September showed a majority of the respondents in favour of the move (50.2 per cent) to sign an agreement with Kalso and their volunteer fire department.

The contract comes in the wake of two major fires four months apart in the rural area south of Kaslo: The Silver Ledge Hotel fire in Ainsworth and the 100-year-old Woodbury Hotel burn in November, 2009.

The RDCK board of directors set the wheels in motion to obtain the necessary legal papers and draft bylaw to make good on the sentiment in mid October.

A bylaw had to be passed by the board, incorporating the Village of Kaslo administration contract language that assured village residents their liabilities are covered if the fire department deploys equipment outside their current specified area and there was a fire in Kaslo.

There is some rural fire service in Ainsworth but it has been divided. Although the community raised funds to purchase a 1979 pumper truck one year ago from Kaslo — and fundraised for some basic fire tools — four of the area’s six volunteer members go to Balfour for training, while the other two trained in Kaslo.

A site for the new fire hall could be found in Woodbury, with a water tank, electricity and donated land all coming in one package. It will be a satellite hall from the one in Kaslo.

editor@thenelsondaily.com

 

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