The Spences Bridge Improvement District (SBID) has postponed the regular meeting originally scheduled for Oct. 22 to sometime in November, ahead of the SBID annual general meeting and trustee election, which will take place on Saturday, Nov. 28 at 2 p.m. at the Improvement District building (the former elementary school).
The change of date was made to allow the SBID time to prepare a mailed notice to be sent out 14 days in advance of the AGM. The notice will be sent to all landowners within the SBID.
Administrative Officer Muny Reddy says that because of COVID-19 protocols and procedures, those wishing to attend the AGM will have to register in advance. The building can only accommodate 60 people under COVID-19 rules, so if more than that number want to attend, alternative arrangements will need to be made. Those wishing to attend can call Reddy at (778) 207-5156 or email reddySB58@gmail.com to register.
The Improvement District is currently looking to fill two vacant positions: a trustee and a fire chief. There are currently three trustees, one of whom — Cheryl Klyne — has indicated that she will not be seeking re-election.
According to the SBID website (http://sbid.info), trustees are expected to attend monthly Board of Trustee meetings; be vocal and contribute their ideas and suggestions during meetings; attend the AGM; and have management skills. A small fee, paid on a quarterly basis, is attached to the position.
At the regular meeting of the SBID held on Sept. 24, the question of the Spences Bridge Fire Department provoked a good deal of discussion. Cook’s Ferry Chief Christine Minnabarriet said she knew there was a lot of tension, and a lot of different opinions of how to move forward with the department.
“We need a meeting with all the information in one spot so people can hear it and make decisions,” she said. Among the items at issue are the funding for a new primary fire engine (which is needed within the next two years), and the option of having the Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) take over the administration and running of the fire department, as they did last year with the Loon Lake Volunteer Fire Department after holding a referendum for residents to vote on the prospect.
“Why not go with the TNRD?” one person asked. “We can get grants with the TNRD.”
Minnabarriet suggested that Cook’s Ferry could contribute funding toward the purchase of a new engine, but said more information was needed.
“I’d like to get the fire commissioner and the TNRD here so people can make an informed decision. There’s too much back-and-forth and not enough facts on the table. The fire department is a crucial part of the community, and information is the start of moving forward.”
It was also noted at the meeting that the fire department is urgently in need of more volunteers; an issue in a community with a large proportion of seniors. A member of the gallery pointed out that the majority of the young people in the town were Cook’s Ferry members, and Minnabarriet said she would encourage members of her community to come out. However, she added “The image of the fire department is ‘Let’s sit around and play darts.’”
The fire chief is expected to administer the affairs of the Spences Bridge Volunteer Fire Department. Duties and qualifications include responding to emergencies in town and near-by small towns; having management skills and the ability to run a small budget; being active in fundraising; providing opportunities for further training for local volunteer firefighters; and keeping an ongoing detailed inventory of the fire department’s equipment.
Applicants for the position of fire chief should hold the following:
1) A clean B.C. Drivers Abstract with a minimum of a Class 5 B.C. Drivers Licence with an Air Brake endorsement (or be willing to upgrade).
2) A positive attitude, and the physical and mental ability to serve the community in an important leadership role.
3) A good personal and radio communication skill set.
4) A clean criminal record.
5) A basic mechanical aptitude.
For more information about either position, contact Reddy at the phone number/email address above. An online trustee candidate registration form can be found at http://sbid.info/contact-form-2/.