911 service changes proposed

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen is considering changes to its 911 system.

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen is considering an upgrade to its 911 system which could leave Summerland paying more for a lower quality of service.

The service change has been suggested to benefit smaller communities within the regional district. The cost of the service change is $.164 million.

Coun. Bruce Hallquist who represents the municipality at the regional district, said the proposal, if approved, would mean Summerland would no longer have a direct 911 emergency link to Kelowna. Instead, the service would be like a party line, serving multiple communities instead of a dedicated line to Summerland.

He added that the change will not affect those calling for 911 service, but it will affect the fire department.

“It’s going to be quite the downgrade in service,” he said. “Why should we be going backward?”

In addition, the municipality would have to pay $230,000 over a 10-year period, or $23,000 a year, as its share of the project.

The service change has been raised at the regional district level because some of the smaller communities have not kept up with improvements to their fire departments. The change would raise the level of communications for them and for the regional district’s fire department, which serves smaller communities and outlying areas.

Municipal administrator Tom Day said municipal representatives met with regional district senior staff recently to outline the fire department’s concerns about the proposed change.

“We’re really pleased with the service right now,” he said. “We don’t want to see it going backwards.”

Hallquist said a second option had also been suggested, but at a higher cost.

To determine if there is voter support to borrow the $1.64 million needed for the service change, the regional district is using the alternate approval process.

If 10 per cent of the voters in the regional district sign a petition opposing the proposed funding, the regional district board would be required to go to a referendum.

There are roughly 68,640 eligible voters in the regional district, so 6,864 signatures would be required.

A copy of the petition will be available at the municipality.

 

Just Posted

COLUMN: Much to enjoy at Ryga Arts Festival

As I learn about George Ryga and his contributions, it is clear why this festival carries his name

Art and music at Summerland Ornamental Gardens

Second event of the summer will be held Sunday, Aug. 25

New Penticton/Kelowna transit route ready to roll out

Route 70 Penticton/Kelowna will provide a direct trip to Kelowna from Penticton and Summerland

South Okanagan powwow strikes a chord on the human level for federal minister

Canada’s Minister of Indigenous Services Seamus O’Regan was the special guest at powwow

Summerland’s downtown has gone through numerous changes

Main Street has been commercial hub of community for many years

VIDEO: Could we BE any more excited? ‘Friends’ fans go crazy for merch

Movie theatres will show select episodes to mark the NBC series’ 25th anniversary

Penticton man sentenced in non-fatal 2017 shooting

Elkena Michael Knauff sentenced to seven and a half months in jail

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Kamloops RCMP locate and arrest man who fled from police

The 22-year-old male was wanted in relation to a domestic violence investigation

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

Okanagan RCMP superintendent helps with arrest

Vernon Supt. Shawna Baher arrests man for theft; turns out to be suspect in assault and robbery

Kelowna man arrested after allegedly setting blaze near Fire Department

The man was allegedly seen lighting bushes on fire near the Kelowna Fire Department

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Most Read