Mayor's Report - June 2001

2001 FIRE PROTECTION UPDATE

With the arrival of summer we are reminded of the annual threat of forest fires. Coupled with the three serious house fires in Belcarra in recent years, it is a reminder that all communities are vulnerable to fire. Council has made fire protection a priority, and my report this month is an update to the community on the fire protection projects presently underway.

Mayor Ralph Drew

As result of the fire protection initiatives undertaken to-date, the municipality was advised in 2000 that the Fire Underwriters Survey has reclassified Belcarra’s “Dwelling Protection Grade” from “Semi-Protected” to “Fully Protected”. As a consequence, property owners located within 1000 feet (300 metres) of a fire hydrant will realize savings on the cost of fire insurance in the range of $100 to $300 depending on the insured value of their home. While the primary objective of having a fire department and fire hydrants is the safety and protection of the community, it’s nice to also realize the added benefit of cost savings on one’s fire insurance.

In 1998 the Village acquired a Crown Land lease located at the south (top) end of Tatlow Road and completed Phase One of the Tatlow Road fire hydrant system with installation of a 58,000-gallon storage tank connected to the first hydrant at Main Avenue. In 1999 Phase Two of the Tatlow Road system was completed, namely the “backbone” water line down Tatlow Road to provide hydrants at Bedwell Bay Road and Marine Avenue. Also completed as part of Phase Two was the extension along Bedwell Bay Road that provided fire hydrants at Watson Road and Senkler Road. Engineering design is currently underway for Phase Three of the Tatlow Road system, which is extension of the fire protection water main along Marine Avenue from Tatlow Road to Young Road. Council anticipates work on Phase Three to commence during the summer of 2002.

In 1999 Council also acquired a licence from GVRD Parks to locate water storage tanks on park property, and was able to complete Phase One of the Dutchman’s Creek fire hydrant system. Phase One involved installation of a 58,000-gallon storage tank adjacent to the Belcarra Water Users water tanks at Dutchman’s Creek, along with the first hydrant on Belcarra Bay Road at Salish Road.

Over the past two months, work was completed on Phase Two of the Dutchman’s Creek system that extended the fire protection water main along Belcarra Bay Road from Salish Road to Bedwell Bay Road, and also placed a fire hydrant on Turtlehead Road. This was a very difficult section to construct as extensive rock blasting was required that added $25,000 to the contract base-cost. In addition, the rock blasting sufficiently distorted the road surface that asphalt patching was not an acceptable restoration option. An incremental cost of $24,600 was negotiated with the contractor to grind and re-grade Belcarra Bay Road between Bedwell Bay Road and Turtlehead Road, and re-pave the road surface with 65mm (2.5 inches) of asphalt to a width of 5 metres (16.4 feet). All together, the total cost of the project amounted to $155,000.

Phase Three of the Dutchman’s Creek system involves extension of the water line from Salish Road to Whiskey Cove Lane to provide coverage to the end of Coomb Lane. The engineering design for Phase Three was undertaken in conjunction with Phase Two, and construction of Phase Three is scheduled for 2003.

A total of $600,000 has been spent since work commenced on the fire hydrant water main system five years ago. It is anticipated that another four years and a further $600,000 will be required to complete these important improvements for the protection of our community. It is a large undertaking, but by applying a long-term perspective and planning for a series of projects constructed over a number of years, Council is achieving the overall objective on a pay-as-you-go basis.

RALPH DREW
MAYOR


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Village of Belcarra
4084 Bedwell Bay Road
Belcarra, BCCANADA
V3H 4P8

E-mail: belcarra@belcarra.ca
Tel: (604) 937-4100
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