Thursday, September 06, 2012

View Royal Fire Hall - it is their responsibility to build a proper one

After the successful counter petition in View Royal the council had to decide what to do.  For them to borrow the money they would have to hold a referendum and without borrowing it will not be possible to build the new fire hall.

The council has managed to reduce the borrowing from $7.9 million to $5.4 million.   The council did a good job of shuffling the the funds of View Royal to reduce the borrowing costs but I am not really sure if it is going to be enough to to make the public happy in View Royal that signed the counter petition.   Even at $5.4 million this will add about $550 per capita to View Royal's debt load.

The fire hall in View Royal is regionally important and in fact is probably the most important one in the region because it is the one that looks after the Victoria General Hospital.   It is this fire hall that will be the crucial lifeline to ensure that when the major earthquake comes the hospital can remain open.   We will have a major damaging earthquake in this region someday and the odds of it being within the next 50 years is about one in three.   The current fire hall is going to be of new use in an earthquake which means one of the most important emergency services in this region is not going to available.

People have wondered if Saanich could cover the but both the main Saanich Fire Hall #1 and the Royal Oak Fire Hall #2 are over 5 kilometers from the hospital, the View Royal location is only about 2 kilometers away.

It is View Royal's responsibility to ensure the safety of our main hospital.   They chose this as one of their costs when they decided to incorporate in 1988 and the hospital was already there.    In the same way Victoria is expected to manage homelessness and build a bridge primarily to benefit people living in Esquimalt and View Royal, View Royal should be expected to pay for their own fire hall that is up to the task the region needs of it.

If the cost is too much for View Royal they should merge with a neighbouring municipality.   If View Royal does not build a fire hall I think the province would be more than justified in revoking the incorporation of the town and merging it with an existing local government that can take on the responsibility.

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