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OKAY ... It's not as important as voting for the President of the United States, but there's a local election that will expand the Fire Protection Boundaries in our area. Even though I can't vote, I'm urging residents to vote "YES". Find out why
North Cedar Improvement District Voting on Nov 15th
Cedar and Yellow Point residents will be voting to elect an RDN Area "A" Director on November 15th. Some property owners will also be voting on a referendum to expand the NCID/NCFD fire protection and emergency response boundaries.
Voting will be held at the North Cedar Intermediate School (2215 Gould Road, in Cedar) on Saturday, November 15th, from 8 AM till 8 PM.
I can't vote because I'm a permanent resident (not a Canadian citizen), but I can urge you to vote for your choice of Directors and "YES" to the referendum question:
Are you in favour of the North Cedar Improvement District extending its fire protection boundaries in order to provide fire and emergency response services to properties in the Yellow Point - South Cedar area at an estimated cost of $70 per year plus $66 per $100k of assessed property value?
There's not much information on the Internet about this fire protection expansion, so I thought I'd put some out there.
Residents who vote "YES will be closer to their fire hall (receive faster fire and emergency service), they'll actually have ownership of both their fire hall and the equipment, they'll also gain voting rights and they may save money through lower homeowner insurance premiums. It just makes sense to vote "YES".
For more about the referendum, a comparison chart that clearly shows why a "YES" vote is the right vote and a map of the affected areas ... carry on ...
Boundary Extension Information and Comparisons
A little while ago, Joe Burnett, current Area "A" Director, sent out a mailing that does a fairly good job of comparing what a "YES" vote means and what a "NO" vote means.
Joe explained that South Cedar and Yellow Point Area property owners have been receiving fire protection under a Service Contract with the CVRD, through the North Oyster Fire Department, for more than 30 years. Residents have paid anywhere from 42% to 47% of the NOFD's annual budget without retaining any ownership in the NOFD fire hall or any of their equipment. Not only don't residents own the hall or equipment, but they don't get to vote in CVRD elections that affect the NOFD (e.g., the plans, cost or location of the new, $2.5MM fire hall).
The RDN reviewed both the operational and financial effects of changing the NCID fire protection boundaries, including the impact to property owners resulting from the CVRD building a new fire hall for the NOFD. They found that residents would be contributing 42% of the $2.5MM cost (just over a million dollars) via a parcel tax of approximately $115, annually.
Their in-depth review showed that land owners and residents would benefit both financially and operationally if they were included in the fire protection service area covered by the North Cedar Improvement District (North Cedar Fire Department).
The North Cedar Fire Department has already has a new fire hall (completed in 2005), the hall is actually closer to most of the affected residents (translating into faster response times and lower insurance rates), residents would also have ownership over their hall and equipment and they would also have voting rights on issues that affect their fire hall.
|A Comparison of Fire Protection Referendum Options|
|Comparison Item||NOFD | No Vote||NCFD | Yes Vote|
|Annual Cost (per $100k)||$49||$66|
|Need to Build a Hall||Yes||Already Built (2005)|
|Parcel Tax (Hall Costs)||$115||$70|
|Ownership in Hall/Equipment||No||Yes|
Properties in the Yellow Point area, within the RDN, lie outside the standard 8-kilometer response distance from North Oyster Fire Department and are classified as "unprotected" for insurance purposes. These residents are likely paying higher property fire insurance premiums, as a result. A "Yes" vote could actually save residents money on their homeowners insurance!
So, the question put to residents and land-owners, living in the affected area is this: Do you want to become part of the North Cedar Improvement District and share in the ownership of the North Cedar Fire Department (both buildings and equipment), receive a faster response time, possibly lower your fire insurance premiums, and vote about things that affect your fire hall ... or ... do you want your tax money to continue to go for fire protection services without any other benefits?
Joe can't say it, but I can ... a "YES" vote makes sense and as a resident living within the affected area, I urge you to vote "YES" (even though I can't vote because I'm not a Canadian citizen)
Disclaimer: My recommendation has nothing to do with the fact that I'm an active member in the North Cedar Fire Department. In fact, as a fire hall member, I'd prefer keeping the size of our district small, as it means fewer calls and fewer times that I have to get up in the middle of the night or run out in the middle of the day. My recommendation stems from the fact that I live in the affected area and as a resident, I want faster service, ownership in our own fire hall, lower homeowner insurance rates and a hall that's closer to us.
If you live in the Yellow Point area of the Regional District of Nanaimo and have either a Nanaimo or Ladysmith postal address, or the South Cedar area of the RDN, you might be affected if you live on any of the following streets:
- Whiting Way
- Roberts Road
- Hertal Road
- Yellow Point Road
- Roper Road
- McGuire Way
- Butler Blvd
- Virago Road
- Juriet Road
- Wildberry Road
- Twin Oaks Drive
- Graham Road
- South side of Farrar Road
- Giovando Road
- Norman Road
- Hill Road
- Quennell Road
- Rosalie Road
- Cedar Road
- Bennie Road
- Haslam Road
- Paterson Road
- Adshead Road
- Hilbert Road