The Village of Telkwa has agreed to an Emergency Support Services combined grant application.
At the Jan. 14 regular council meeting, Fire Chief Laurence Turney made a presentation and a request for council to agree to support the submission of a joint application with the Town of Smithers and the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako (RDBN) to the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund for up to $50,000.
Turney also requested council agree to let the RDBN handle the grant management if it is successful.
“This year the proposal, by the regional district, is they would like a modernization of the emergency support services across the region,” Turney said. “They are recommending they gather all the municipalities grants together, put them in as one and get a set of computers and other equipment across the regional district that is consistent. Telkwa and Smithers are involved in the Bulkley Valley Emergency Support Services (BVESS) as a joint venture. This report outlines the opportunity to go in as BVESS then we make the application budgets and the regional district writes up the grant as a group for as many municipalities that are joining in and supplying it to UBCM in mid-February.”
In Turney’s report to council he outlines the lessons learned over the last several years of floods and fires in B.C, promoting the province to implement an Emergency Support Services Modernization Project.
UBCM provides funding for ESS to help municipalities purchase equipment and provide the required training to use it.
Councillor Leroy Dekens asked Chief Turney if the odds of getting money were higher if Telkwa submitted as part of a group or individually.
“As a group they get more with a bulk buy,” Turney explained. “They can get more equipment for the overall price. By going on our own we wouldn’t get as much.”
Councillor Annette Morgan was very supportive of the idea.
“It is a great opportunity and well thought out to best utilize these funds and I don’t see that happening very often,” she said. “I want to thank everyone for the work they’ve done around that. There’s $150,000 worth of resources and I think it will be well spent.”
The joint application for UBCM’s Community Emergency Preparedness Fund Support Services funding stream would include the purchase of equipment required for upgrading the current Emergency Support Service Reception centre kits; training events needed to familiarize volunteers with the new ESS system and required technology and other purchases and projects needed as recommended by the ESS team lead.