After several years of being in the no-man’s-land of fire protection, Cameron Shops will once again come under the jurisdiction of the City of Port Alberni.
In the past, the city provided fire protection to the Cameron Shops facility under contract with MacMillan Bloedel, fire Chief Tim Pley said. As ownership changed, so too did fire protection agreements until they lapsed altogether.
Western Forest Products asked the city last year to consider providing fire protection again.
Cameron Shops is a multi-use facility near Bamfield Road that supports WFP’s logging operations.
The five-year agreement would see the city’s fire department provide fire suppression and medical first responder services to the facility in exchange for a modest fee. Any aid needed that goes beyond the scope of the agreement would be paid for by WFP.
Coun. Jack McLeman was against the idea when it was first broached in October 2010, preferring to see the city take Cameron Shop—and its tax base—into the city along with other development along the Franklin River.
“We shouldn’t be letting people reaching over the fence and cherry-pick us,” McLeman said on Tuesday. We should bring them into the city.”
The city decided it would be too expensive to take all that land mass and its accompanying infrastructure servicing into the city, city manager Ken Watson said.
“The cost of maintaining that road would far exceed the value of the taxes and water fees collected from those properties,” he said.