Christina Lake firefighters won’t be adding boat-access only properties to their jurisdiction. Photo: Greg Nesteroff

Christina Lake firefighters won’t be adding boat-access only properties to their jurisdiction. Photo: Greg Nesteroff

Christina Lake fire protection petition fails

Some owners of boat-access only properties wanted to be added to the fire department’s jurisdiction.

Christina Lake residents whose properties are only accessible by boat won’t be getting fire and first responder services any time soon. A petition process has failed to meet the required thresholds.

Last year, the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary was approached by some of those property owners asking to be included in the Christina Lake fire service area.

Regional director Grace McGregor supported at least looking at the idea. The RDKB then sent letters to the owners of the 286 parcels in the proposed area, asking them to sign a petition if they wanted to join. Christina Lake firefighters also visited owners to tell them about the petition.

In the mailout, McGregor said there have been many conversations about providing fire service to properties that are only accessible by boat, driven by actual fires and first-responder calls. The Christina Lake fire department is now equipped with a boat that could respond to such emergencies.

In order for the petition process to succeed, forms in favour of the idea needed to be signed by at least half of the affected parcels. Those parcels also needed to represent half of the assessed value of the lands and improvements in the area.

By Wednesday’s deadline, only 119 petition forms had been received (42 per cent). A staff report going before the board next week lays out two possibilities to keep the issue alive: McGregor could request an extension to the petition deadline, or the board could hold a referendum. However, the staff recommendation is that no further action be taken.

McGregor said in an email that for now the issue has reached the end of the line, but there might be other options.

The estimated cost of the service would have been $75 per $100,000 of assessed value.