Mayor's Report - September 1998


1998 FIRE PROTECTION UPDATE

Mayor Ralph Drew

The "long hot summer" that we enjoyed has prompted me to update the community on the various fire protection initiatives that are underway. Stories during the summer about BC communities facing the terror of wild fire should remind us that we too are vulnerable to fire. We need to remember that there was a house fire across from the Fire Hall as recently as June 1994, and only six months prior to that Belcarra experienced its first serious house fire in more than 25 years.

Our fire protection "corner stone", of course, is the Sasamat Volunteer Fire Department (SVFD) which has provided an outstanding level of service since it started in 1977. The SVFD is debt-free, new training facilities were completed last year, and we are now benefiting from a long standing policy of replacing equipment and vehicles on a pay-as-you-go basis. In January the SVFD acquired its newest pumper truck at a cost of $300,000 fully funded from the Equipment Replacement Reserve.

In 1992 Council retained P.S. Turje & Associates Ltd. to examine the feasibility of installing water storage tanks throughout the Village as a means of improving fire protection. The report was quite large, with an exhaustive examination of a whole series of combinations and permutations. This report has been the impetous for a series of fire protection works over the last five years:

  • The fire hydrant connected to GVRD's two 10,000-gallon water storage tanks at the picnic grounds.
  • The fire hydrant connected to the three 8,000-gallon water tanks at the Belcarra Fire Hall site.
  • The two 12,000-gallon water tanks above the high-point on Bedwell Bay Road and connected to a fire hydrant at the turn-around. This site is very strategic in that it is centrally located, it has a large level area for fire trucks and equipment to operate, and it is also height-of-land.
  • The fire hydrant that Imperial Oil Company installed adjacent to their pump house at Sasamat Lake. This is a strategic location for filling the SVFD water tankers when they have to "shuttle water" to a fire site, particularly the areas above the Burrard Thermal Plant.
For obvious reasons it important that we continue with this program of locating water storage tanks and hydrants for fire protection at strategic locations throughout the Village.

Earlier this year, the Village acquired a Crown Land lease located at the south (top) end of Tatlow Road, another very strategic location. Since Tatlow Road allowance runs from Main Avenue to Marine Avenue, water storage tanks located at the top-end can supply fire hydrants located at Main Avenue, Bedwell Bay Road and Marine Avenue. The design for this concept has been engineered and a contract for Phase One of the project should be underway by the end of September. Phase One consists of site preparation, installation of a 58,000 IG storage tank and the first hydrant at Main Avenue. Phase Two consists of extension of the water line to provide hydrants at Bedwell Bay Road and Marine Avenue. The design also includes "T" connections pre-installed at Main Avenue, Bedwell Bay Road and Marine Avenue to accommodate additional extensions and hydrants as desired in the future.

Council has also been pursuing the other very strategic site at the height-of-land next to the Belcarra Water Users water tanks at Dutchman's Creek. Discussions have been initiated to acquire a lease for the site from the GVRD Parks Department, and the intent is to purchase the six inch pipe that was pre-installed by the Belcarra Water Users. Once a lease has been obtained for a new storage tank, design and engineering work can begin.

As can be seen, the plan is for a series of projects, constructed over a period of time, that enhance the availability of water for fire protection. These improvements are important to the safety of our community, and Council is committed to these works 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
Fax: (604) 939-5034
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