Ashcroft intends to borrow $500,00 for fire truck

Ashcroft votes to borrow money and approves the alternate approval process with a deadline of Oct. 13.

Ashcroft Council hopes to borrow $500,000 to purchase a new fire engine.

Council agreed to the alternate approval process, whereby eligible voters register their disapproval of the process by signing an Elector Response Form if they are opposed to the Village borrowing the money.

If 148 or more voters register their disapproval by Oct. 13 at 4 pm, the Village would have to look for authorization by taking the question to a public referendum.

The truck will take up to 12 months to outfit from the time it’s ordered until it’s delivered.

Administrator Michelle Allen said staff spoke to various suppliers “and we expect that the cost of the truck will be around $390,000 US or $450,000 [Canadian funds]. However, with the fluctuation in the exchange rate we are seeking approval for $500,000 Cdn.”

Council had the choice of borrowing the entire amount, or supplementing it with money from the Fire Dept. Reserve Fund. They chose to borrow the full amount and leave the $192,041 in the Fund for new equipment.

Allen said the truck will come with limited equipment; equipment will be transferred from the old truck. She said the department will require a new supply of Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA), as well as a compressor to fill them. The current SCBA’s must be inspected on a regular basis and they are currently reaching the end of their usable life.

“As there are other additional purchases that the fire department will be facing,” she reported to Council, “Administration recommends that the Village opt for a 20 year amortization on a loan of $500,000 as the payments can be modified or additional funds applied to the loan if the fire dept. budget has a surplus.”

The loan will be financed through BC’s Municipal Finance Authority.