Ratepayers meeting discussed master fire plan and upcoming inspection
Pass Herald Reporter
A Ratepayers Association meeting was held to discuss a number of issues, including the Minister of Municipal affairs announcement that he has hired an inspection team and the Master Fire Plan which was approved unanimously in a Regular Council meeting held on Tuesday, March 5th.
The nearly two hour meeting was held at the Coleman Legion on Thursday, March 22nd, and housed approximately 80 people.
President of the Ratepayers Association Bill Kovach told audience members that he, on behalf of the Ratepayers Association, received a letter from Minister of Municipal Affairs Doug Griffiths informing him that a team of consultants have been hired by the provincial government. “The consulting firm Russell Farmer and Associates have been hired to do the inspection,” he said.
Kovach strongly urged audience members to contact the firm for an interview by emailing inspection@RFconsulting.ca.
“It’s important that they hear our concerns,” he said.
Kovach also expressed concern regarding the decision to close the Hillcrest Fire Hall, which was part of the Master Fire Plan.
‘They are making decisions without consulting the people first,” said Kovach. “That’s what it all comes down to.”
He told the audience that although some things have been taken away from the community, the Hillcrest Fire Hall being an example; it is possible to regain some of these things.
“We can get these things back,” Kovach said. “We just need some time and some planning.”
Letters that were sent to a number of media outlets by the Ratepayers Association requesting an investigative journalist to come and report in the Pass were mostly all left unanswered, with the exception of Global Lethbridge, who told the Ratepayers that they were too busy right now to spend the time on this task.
Kovach said that he believes the reason for this is that many media sources, including papers in Calgary, Lethbridge and Edmonton, have already reported on the recent and controversial events in the Pass, namely the mass walkout of the firemen and the petition sent out by the Ratepayers.
“Maybe we will get some coverage once the inspection is complete,” Kovach said.
During the open discussion portion of the meeting, audience members expressed concern regarding the new brand of Crowsnest Pass, the hotel development by Medican, and the communication consultants hired by the municipality.
Audience members expressed distress about the cost of these recent decisions and whether the community wants or needs these changes.
The next Ratepayers meeting is planned for on April 18th.