The fire department pick-up in question which will be replaced following a budget approval on January 26.

The fire department pick-up in question which will be replaced following a budget approval on January 26.

Petals and the metals: Kitimat Council debates spending for pick-up in light of flower spending

A councillor questions why colleagues eager to spend money on hanging baskets but not so quick to approve fire department vehicle.

The parade for budget pre-approvals continues, but a request for a new fire department pick-up truck — which would be used for emergency call outs too — had one councillor making contrasts to other budget pre-approvals.

Councillor Claire Rattée was in the midst of arguing in favour of the purchase, which would pre-approve money from the District of $52,000 for an operations truck to replace the 15 year old one already in service. The money would come from the fire department’s vehicle reserve fund.

The early expenditure wasn’t necessarily fought but Mario Feldhoff didn’t see the spending as an emergency and wanted to weigh it with the entirety of the budget too.

Rattée, however, fired back with an approval already granted, unanimously on January 12, for an expense of $20,000 for hanging baskets.

That expense was requested, and approved, due to the District of Kitimat’s staff’s recommendation that to wait until the budget was finalized to approve the spending would mean they miss their window to get flowers in the baskets for 2015.

Regardless of time lines though, Rattée felt that, given what council has already approved, a new vehicle for the fire department was higher in importance.

“No one had a problem with pre-approving $20,000 dollars for hanging baskets,” she said. “We’re talking about our fire response here.”

Fire Chief Trent Bossence said the truck is used for travel by fire department staff and would be equipped with emergency lights and decals for responding to emergencies.

He has a very similar vehicle already in service which he uses for work travel.

The $52,000 budget request would include $10-$12,000 in additional improvements to the vehicle. (namely the addition of lights and sirens and other items.)

Rattée also defended the spending saying it comes from the fire department’s vehicle reserve fund, designed exactly for vehicle replacements such as this.

But money isn’t necessarily just there for the taking, argued Feldhoff.

“At the end of the day those vehicles have to stand in competition for all the other demands put on this community,” he said, saying money in the reserves can easily be moved around for other purposes.

“I don’t see why we can’t wait another month or so to finish the remainder of our budget,”’ he said. “[I’m] concerned that we’re being asked for pre-approval on something that would appear not to be an emergency.”

Councillor Larry Walker sided with Feldhoff, especially to his comments that by pre-approving so much of the budget the council may be “painting ourselves in to a corner.”

Despite the arguments, the fire department received its pre-budget approval.

Edwin Empinado, Walker and Feldhoff voted against the expense, while the remaining councillors, Mary Murphy, Rattée, Rob Goffinet and Mayor Phil Germuth, voted in favour.

 

Just Posted

Outside the Kitimat RCMP police station, Diversity Morgan’s family and Kitimat RCMP come together for a pride flag-raising ceremony. (Jacob Lubberts photo)
Kitimat RCMP host pride flag ceremony in memory of Diversity Morgan

“We’re gathered here in solidarity for anyone who’s ever experienced prejudice or discrimination”

(Haisla First Nation logo)
Haisla Nation host walk for strength and series of virtual sessions for Indigenous History Month

The purpose of the walk is to bring Haisla Nation members together and show their collective support

The District of Kitimat will be awarding business owners with a store front up to $5,000 to cover up to 50 per cent of exterior renovations. (Norhtern Development logo)
The District of Kitimat is awarding $5,000 to storefront owners for exterior renovations

The district has set aside $20,000 this year and non-profits are also eligible

Ron getting loose and sipping a glass of the family’s favourite greek amber spirit, Metaxa. (Photo supplied)
In Our Valley: Ron Lechner

Retired part-time singer and Rio Tinto lifer: Ron Lechner

Map of the road work that will be completed this summer. The streets highlighted in red are what the district planned on completing before additional funding, and the streets highlighted in orange is the road works that will be done with the additional funding. (District of Kitimat photo)
$1.1 million allocated for road work this year in Kitimat

Kitimat council has added $470,000 for more work by deferring four other projects.

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Most Read