Plans for a continuous fire service in the North Thompson are on hold for at least six months because not enough people responded to a regional district petition.
The petition asked residents if they support borrowing $140,000 to purchase and install four self-contained fire hydrants and proceed with the proposal.
Ron Storie, manager of community services for the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, said less than the required number of petitioners signed off on the proposal by the Aug. 9 deadline.
In order for the effort to succeed, the number of signatures needed to exceed a 50-per-cent threshold, Storie said Tuesday.
He said the results tell him residents aren’t interest in the service, or don’t want taxes raised to pay for it.
“Therefore the service does not occur. At least not right now,” said Storie.
TNRD board chairman Randy Murray said the proposal can be revisited in six months. At that time, staff can bring it to the board and ask that a referendum be held.
Murray said this comes with an additional cost, so directors usually weigh how close the petition came to success when deciding if there should be a referendum.
Neither Murray nor Storie know how many signatures were collected.
“I just know it didn’t meet the criteria,” said Murray.
Many areas have a volunteer fire department or fire protection, he said. The desire was for North Thompson fire departments to provide a complete service to Birch Island and other towns along Highway 5 that are without fire protection.
Had the proposal been approved, the TNRD would have borrowed the money over 10 years to pay for the hydrants, installation and any legal requirements to landowners.