Director's Corner - Aimee Watson

Director Watson – January 2024 Updates

Area D First Responder (FR) service

I have received a few inquiries regarding the FR service in the Lardeau Valley, a rumour that the service has ended and no equipment is available to FR in the LV. This is not true. There has been no change to the service, at this time.

The back story, which may have led to misunderstandings, is that while there are First Responders for the Lardeau Valley, they’re technically is no First Responder service. The Kaslo and Area Fire Department has been providing the service outside of its service boundaries, which are Cowan Rd to Twin Bays. As the area outside of that boundary does receive service, it does not pay for it and has had minimal to no supports for equipment and training. Through various reports in the last few years, I have provided the details of how we aim to create a full Area D First Responder service, this will be coming to you in the next few months. For the past reports, look through my reports or easier, send me an email I will get them to you.

The aim of the service will be to provide more recruitment, training and equipment to serve both the Ainsworth/Woodbury area and north of Cowan Rd into Lardeau Valley, Currently, there are only 2 first responders for this whole area and the truck they use was purchased with grants almost a decade ago, when it was decommissioned by the Ymir Fire Service. These folks need support to support you, should you ever need it. THANK YOU Robyn and Glen!! And the Kaslo and Area Fire Department for your years of outside your area services!

BC Property Assessments

We have all received our property assessments in the last few weeks. I received the full break down for all areas across the RDCK and the not great news is that Area D saw the largest increase in property value assessments. The less great news is that it is 13% market change and only 1% non-market change. Market change is values that are influenced by surrounding property sales while non-market change is new developments. When the increase is related to non-market, that is good as that means there are more homes, new properties that are participating in services. or a new industry. When its market change, that means its the same properties but the values have increased.

Area D’s overall assessment increase is 20%, the highest across the RDCK. I strongly recommend anyone who feels their assessment is unfair to appeal. Keeping our values at a realistic assessment assist the whole area.

To appeal: https://info.bcassessment.ca/Services-products/appeals

One last note, we did have our first board budget meeting looking at services. This is when we have the baseline of what things come in at and start the work of getting them down. We were able to shave of close to half a million across the district. I will be going through each service in Area D to see where we can reduce costs. To see the DRAFT budget at this time, go here: https://www.rdck.ca/…/special-open-board-meeting.html

PLEASE NOTE: the rates are based on the current assessments, as appeals occur and if successful, this will help in reducing the bills come August.