Barlow Creek Fire Hall on Aird Road, near Quesnel. April Cameron photo

CRD to hire external auditor to review Barlow Creek Fire Department budgets

The audit comes after taxes increased in the community near Quesnel

The Cariboo Regional District is hiring an external auditor to conduct a financial audit of the Barlow Creek Fire Protection service budgets from the 2016 and 2017 fiscal years.

The decision was made in an in-camera board meeting and then released to the public. It followed the release of an article in the Observer about a new tax increase for residents of the Barlow Creek Fire Protection service area.

Taxes in the area are set to increase — first by 30 per cent from 2017 to 2018, then by an additional two per cent per year, in the 2018-2022 five year financial plan — following a “substantial overrun” of the fire department’s budget last year.

The decision to hire an external auditor was already in consideration before the release of the article, says Emily Epp, the manager of communications for the CRD. But, she adds, the decision was “pushed along” by the response from the public, following the release of the article.

READ MORE: Residents to foot the bill for “substantial overrun” of Barlow Creek Fire Department’s 2017 budget

“It was something that we were considering,” says Epp. “It has been a long time in the works as we have been reviewing the expenses. I would say it’s a combination of what we were thinking and hearing from the public, and realizing that they’re hoping for a more thorough financial audit.”

A press release from the CRD says that “upon initial investigation, the additional spending was mainly on training, equipment and maintenance for the fire department.”

In the press release, chief administrative officer (CAO) John MacLean says the CRD has conducted an initial review of the expenses, “but there are some questions that remain unanswered.”

He goes on to say the audit is not about “pointing fingers or finding blame,” but that the CRD has a responsibility to be “good stewards of the public’s money and provide financial oversight.”

After the review is completed, Epp says it will come back to the board of directors and they will decide the next steps.



heather.norman@quesnelobserver.com

Like us on Facebook

Just Posted

Column: this and that for seniors

Ruth Scoullar is back with her monthly round up of activities for seniors in Quesnel

‘Violent’ Prince George man wanted on Canada-wide warrant

RCMP say the man has likely made his way to the Lower Mainland or another community

Voter turnout at 25.5% in City of Quesnel; 16% in CRD

Both are lower than the provincial average of 36%

Official election results released for City of Quesnel

Two transcription errors were found, which did not affect candidate rankings

Local CRD candidates win by small margins; recounts not guaranteed

Chief election officer says recounts will only happen if number of rejected ballots were significant

B.C. sailor surprised by humpback whale playing under her boat

Jodi Klahm-Kozicki said the experience was ‘magical’ near Denman Island

Ovechkin has 4 points as Caps rough up Canucks 5-2

WATCH: Defending champs pick up impressive win in Vancouver

B.C. government moves to tighten resource industry regulations

New superintendent will oversee engineers, biologists, foresters

Election watchdog seeks digitally savvy specialists to zero in on threats

Move follows troublesome evidence of online Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election

More court before Dutch man charged in Amanda Todd case is extradited here

Appeals must be dealt with in Europe, before charges faced in B.C.

Crown says man guilty of B.C. girl’s 1978 murder based on alleged confession

Jury hears details of girl’s 1978 murder while Crown says man should be convicted of girl’s murder based on alleged confession.

BCHL alumni has NHL jersey retired by Anaheim Ducks

Paul Kariya played with the Penticton Vees from 1990-1992

Most Read