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City questions regional district over unpaid fire bill

Birnie Road landfill fire, August 2013.
November 01, 2014 - 7:31 AM

VERNON - There’s some financial confusion between local governments about an unpaid firefighting bill.

The City of Vernon invoiced the Regional District of North Okanagan for $78,777 in relation to fire protection services at a devastating landfill fire in August 2013.

“The bills are still not paid,” Vernon mayor Rob Sawatzky says. “I’m a bit surprised it’s taken this long.”

He says with a coordinated emergency response, as was the case at the Birnie Road landfill fire, its standard to reimburse all the jurisdictions that provided assistance. 

But David Sewell, the regional district’s chief administrative officer, has a different interpretation of the agreement. He says the landfill is located within the fire protection area of the City of Vernon, and is of the impression the response would be funded through the tax requisition system.

“Basically, we’re questioning the validity of the bill,” Sewell says. “It wasn’t an assistance, it was within their property.”

Both the city and the regional district are looking in to the matter.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © iNFOnews, 2014

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