911 Corporation hikes rates

North Island 9-1-1 Corporation has settled on a seven per cent tax increase to the Strathcona Regional District in its provisional budget.

Coun. Larry Samson broke the news to the regional district board at its meeting Thursday afternoon.

He said the seven per cent translates to a $27,632 increase. The rate hike is being split between the Comox Valley Regional District, Strathcona Regional District, Powell River Regional District, Mt. Waddington and Alberni-Clayoquot regional districts as well as a portion of the Nanaimo Regional District which all make up the North Island 9-1-1 Corporation.

Samson said the percentages paid were doled out based on land assessments.

“Salary increases for fire dispatch and for RCMP dispatch are the two single largest components for the increase,” Samson said.

Noba Anderson, director for Cortes Island and the regional district representative to North Island 9-1-1 last year, said the organization also had an increase in its 2012 in order to fulfil the wage hikes in the RCMP contract, which was out of the control of 9-1-1.

In the meantime, the Union of BC Municipalities is examining issues surrounding possibly introducing a province-wide call answer levy to support and improve 9-1-1 services across B.C.

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