View Royal fire hall loan rejected by residents

View Royal's chair of protective services said that despite the AAP not coming out the way she had hoped, it served its purpose.

The overwhelming opposition of an Alternative Approval Process (AAP) for a proposed fire hall in View Royal is exactly the feedback the town needs, Coun. Heidi Rast said.

Rast, chair of protective services for View Royal, said that despite the AAP not coming out the way she had hoped, it served its purpose.

“I think the AAP did exactly what it was supposed to do, which is test a project to see how the residents feel about it,” Rast said. “I think council will go back, tweak the project and the plan and then come forward on a referendum.”

Council was expected to formally discuss its next step Tuesday night after 1,300 responses to the AAP came back opposing the proposed new fire hall.

The AAP was held in regards to the proposed borrowing of nearly $8 million to build a new fire hall in View Royal.

Only 700 forms, representing 10 per cent of the voting population, were required by last Friday to either force a new plan or a referendum.

In the end, the town received nearly double the forms needed to overturn the loan application.

Controversy arose during the process over a few inaccuracies in an information sheet handed out by a group opposed to the loan.

Coun. David Screech, among others, spoke out against the pamphlet, calling it “slapped together to elicit a reaction.”

Council advised people who felt they had been misinformed by the pamphlet that they could take back their forms, though it’s not known if anyone did.

Kim Saladana, one of the View Royal residents who actively opposed the AAP, said she hopes council takes this opportunity to adjust the plans and bring more information to the public. She doubts the plan would survive a referendum in its current form.

“I’m glad that further consideration will be given to the project,” said Saladana.

“I hope that they adjust the project and I hope that they communicate very throughly with the public about the options and alternatives.”

kwells@goldstreamgazette.com