Re: “View Royal fire hall the right decision for town”, August 8.
In his letter, Councillor Screech seems to attack the writer of a letter in the August 1 Gazette for suggesting View Royal council consider alternative ways of providing firefighter services to View Royal residents.
He uses the words “reckless” and “illogical.” Could these words be used to describe his and his council’s behaviour? Is it illogical for View Royal council to have their 3, 500 property taxpayers supply and pay for the first firefighter response services to the regional Victoria General Hospital, including supplying and paying for a 100-foot, $1 million ladder fire truck and a proposed new basket truck specifically for use at the Victoria General Hospital?
VGH pays no taxes to View Royal. Is it reckless to have the small View Royal Fire Rescue supplying first response firefighter services to the VGH which sits at the border of the 110,000 resident municipality of Saanich with more than 38,000 property taxpayers and a large professional fulltime fire department ready to go 24-7?
It seems logical that, for the safety of the VGH patients and staff and for tax relief to View Royal property tax payers, council hand over provision of first response firefighter services to Saanich Fire Department.
Without the need to house and maintain the 100-foot ladder truck and the large basket truck, the size and cost of the proposed new fire hall could be greatly reduced. Further reductions could be achieved by the use of the neighbouring CFB Equimalt firefighter training facility instead of building our own expensive firefighter training facility with tower.
I request council explore better less costly ways of supplying firefighter services to their property tax payers, and their families, instead of wasting $20,000 to $25,000 of taxpayer’s money on a referendum when 1,300 voters, in councils Alternative Approval Process, voted for council not to proceed with their proposed fire hall safety building.