Upgrade the current hall

I was quite surprised to learn of the Town of Sidney’s intention to look at replacement properties for the current fire hall

I was quite surprised when reading your Friday, Nov. 29 edition, to learn of the Town of Sidney’s intention to look at replacement properties for the current fire hall.

I was elected to council in Nov. of 1987. A referendum to replace the very old hall was also on the ballot.

Obviously, the referendum passed and the current fire hall was built in 1989. It replaced a hall that was not suitable for earthquake survival — again the current reason to replace the replacement hall.

The current hall is under 30 years old, making it one of the newest fire halls in the Capital Regional District. Yet our council wants to replace it.

Let’s upgrade the old hall and stop using the perpetual excuse of ongoing earthquake issues.

Also there is talk of a composite fire department, that is, a combination of volunteer and paid professional firefighters. This is because the demographic in Sidney makes it possible that daytime fires could be difficult to respond to.

A check of available records reveals that at no time has the Sidney Fire Department used the mutual aid agreement that exists with other local fire departments. Would this not indicate that a shortage has yet to occur? The wage numbers quoted in the paper seem to downplay the costs of such an endeavour.

Quoting real/correct union wage totals should provide the public with useful information regarding what could become a very expensive municipal department, given the plans coming up in the near and distant future.

Robert Jones

Sidney