Cache Creek Volunteer Fire Department First Assistant Chief Damian Couture with old equipment at the Cache Creek council meeting on Oct. 26. (Photo credit: YouTube)

Cache Creek Volunteer Fire Department First Assistant Chief Damian Couture with old equipment at the Cache Creek council meeting on Oct. 26. (Photo credit: YouTube)

Cache Creek approves purchase of new fire department equipment

Motion opposed by one council member asking for time to look into outside funding opportunities

All five members of Cache Creek council were present at the regular meeting on Monday, Oct. 26, which started at 4:30 p.m.

Fire department delegation

First Assistant Chief Damian Couture of the Cache Creek Volunteer Fire Department gave a demonstration of the department’s self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBAs), to show how the system works and why they are requesting new equipment. The department’s current SCBA units were made in 2001 and purchased (refurbished) in 2015, and Couture noted that while they were very good in their day, they are now outdated and do not meet current standards.

New tanks contain 45-minutes’-worth of air, as opposed to the current ones which have 30-minutes’-worth (and which are all expiring within the next two years); new gear also contains more safety measures, and parts for the old units cannot be obtained. The department is asking for four new units with two new tanks each, as well as new masks, which are much easier to clean: a huge issue with COVID-19, since masks are currently shared. The department would like a dedicated mask for each member (there are currently 15 members).

Couture also talked about the department in general. Mayor Santo Talarico thanked him for the valuable presentation and the fact that fire departments are being asked to do more and more by all levels of government. “It’s not lost on members of council how much you do.”

Later in the meeting, council debated a motion to purchase four SCBA units with eight tanks, as well as 15 masks, immediately (at a cost of $49,000), with a further four units and eight tanks to be purchased in 2021 (at a cost of $43,000).

Coun. Annette Pittman asked if the $49,000 was in the budget; CFO Cristina Martini said it was not, but that they should consider making the recommended purchase with money from the Landfill Legacy Fund, to be repaid in the future: “I think that the safety of our firefighters is paramount.” CAO Martin Dalsin noted that the current sharing of masks was of immediate concern, while Talarico added that the purchase of new equipment was an item that continued to be delayed.

Pittman expressed concern about such a large expenditure at once, suggesting less equipment could be purchased immediately while other funding options were sought. Talarico called the question, which passed 4–1, with Pittman opposed. “Safety trumps finances,” said Coun. Sue Peters after the vote.

Community clean-up day

Dalsin said that while a fall clean-up had been tentatively scheduled to take place in the first week of November, that plan was on hold, and he did not think it likely the Village would be able to have one this year. Coun. Wendy Coomber said that was a shame, as many residents were piling up items to be removed in anticipation of a Village clean-up, which did not take place in spring 2020. “Every time we make a plan, something seems to interfere,” said Dalsin. “We’re trying our best to make it happen.”

Bylaw enforcement officer working group

Peters reported on the meeting on Oct. 15 between representatives from Cache Creek, Ashcroft, and Clinton about hiring a joint bylaw enforcement officer. “It’s exciting to see the three communities work so well together. The cooperation is better than I’ve ever seen.” She said that new Clinton CAO Murray Daly was a great asset, as he is a former bylaw enforcement officer, and could note what did, and did not, work based on his experience. Council approved going ahead with a Bylaw Notice Adjudication ticketing system, which is less costly than the alternative in terms of expense and staff time, and less cumbersome when dealing with absentee owners.

It was clarified that while each community would maintain its own set of bylaws for enforcement, there would be a common bylaw between the three communities pertaining to the bylaw enforcement officer.

Other matters

Council approved a motion to make the Community Engagement Report on the Cannabis Regulatory Framework available for public viewing; a request by Norm Brezina to purchase and place a memorial bench for the Hofer family in the Cache Creek park; a donation of $100 to the Christmas Hamper Fund; and the writing of a letter to Interior Health about concerns regarding the lack of public flu shot clinics in communities this year.

The meeting went in camera at 5:35 p.m.

All minutes and agendas for Cache Creek council meetings can be found on the Village’s website at http://www.village.cachecreek.bc.ca/. The next scheduled regular meeting of council is on Monday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m.


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