The Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) is moving forward with an Alternative Approval Process (AAP) to help finance the construction and equipping of a new Greater Merville Fire Protection Service fire hall.

“An AAP is a formal process whereby the Board notifies the electors of its intent to proceed with adoption of a bylaw (or other matter) unless at least 10% of the electors register their opposition against the initiative, in which case the bylaw or other matter may not be adopted without first obtaining the assent of the electors by voting,” explains CVRD General Manager of Corporate Services Jake Martens.

The development of an auxiliary fire hall, centrally located within the Greater Merville area has been identified as a key initiative since 2016. A new fire hall will provide several benefits to the local community including improved life-safety services for residents and may reduce fire insurance premiums for insured residences.

“Based on the design, engineer’s estimates and the estimated cost of firefighting equipment, the AAP seeks elector permission to borrow a maximum of two million dollars for this project,” explains CVRD Fire Services Manager James Bast. “The term of the debt will be determined based on affordability, life of the building with a maximum debt retirement to be no more than 25 years.”

Only those eligible voters within the Greater Merville Fire Protection Service Area are subject to this initiative and entitled to participate in the Alternative Approval Process. The total number of electors has been fairly determined to be 2,733 of which 10 per cent, or 273, must submit elector response forms to prevent the Comox Valley Regional District board from adopting the fire hall construction loan authorization bylaw.

Elector response forms are now available online from the CVRD website or at the CVRD’s office located at 770 Harmston Avenue in Courtenay. The deadline for delivering the signed elector response forms to the CVRD is 4:30 pm on December 7, 2020. Forms must be received before the deadline to be counted. The elector response forms may be delivered in person, by fax, or by email and must include the elector’s signature. For this reason, forms submitted by email must be printed and signed before being submitted electronically.

For more information visit www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/mervillefire

The Comox Valley Regional District is a federation of three electoral areas and three municipalities providing sustainable services for residents and visitors to the area. The members of the regional district work collaboratively on services for the benefit of the diverse urban and rural areas of the Comox Valley.

James Bast

Fire Services Manager, Comox Valley Regional District