A discussion involving an increase to the Charlie Lake Fire Department’s budget took place at Thursday’s Peace River Regional District Meeting.
The proposal was presented by Charlie Lake Fire Chief Al Pinkerton and Doug Allen, president of the Charlie Lake/Grandhaven Fire Protection Society.
The two submitted a proposal that, if approved, would provide a nearly $200,000 increase in the department’s budget.
The request for the budget increase is due to the department’s request to hire two full-time fire fighters. Pinkerton says the staff increase would provide the station with a more adequate number of full time, paid firefighters. Currently Pinkerton is the only paid staff member.
He also says the increase in paid staff members would allow the fire department to better service the Charlie Lake area.
Currently, the majority of the department’s volunteer fire fighters work outside the Charlie Lake area, causing a shortage of daytime staff.
As part of the budget increase, Pinkerton says $100,000 would be put towards an equipment reserve fund.
Pinkerton says the budget proposal is extremely crucial, as it affects the safety of the people in the Charlie Lake area. He says that residents are paying for a service but that, right now, that service is not being provided to its fullest potential.
The fire department now has to wait for the Regional District’s decision on the budget’s increases.