The Pitt Meadows Fire Hall is about one-third the size that is recommended for a new building. (City of Pitt Meadows)

The Pitt Meadows Fire Hall is about one-third the size that is recommended for a new building. (City of Pitt Meadows)

Letter: Growth of city not only measured by practicality

Livability and cultural viability count, too.

Editor, The News:

Re: Letter: Having paid on-call firefighters in Pitt Meadows is ‘unacceptable.’

A recent letter by a Pitt Meadows resident seems to desperately and illogically equate a lack of spending millions of dollars on a new fire hall and paid firefighters with the paltry expense of $38,000 from, no doubt, pre-budgeted departmental funds to re-purpose, minimally renovate and give back to the public what was a small, disused and unloved public building on Harris Road into what is now our brilliant little public art gallery.

Apparently, additionally galling was the fact that concrete planters appeared around city hall that they found distasteful and ‘unnecessary’, requiring maintenance.

Worthwhile to check and see if these were paid for out of the Canada 150 grant, or our new parks and leisure department budget, and that the maintenance will come from this budget, as well? Different departments actually have different budgets.

I would pay heed to our senior career, experienced fire chief and his associates that have been in charge of overseeing our safety for many years, that what we have now is working in our best interests and a cooperative association with Maple Ridge also continues to work for us.

I am sure that if this changes, there will be fact-based, knowledgeable talks ensuing between our emergency services and city hall council and staff.

Everyone will then need to realize that the profound expense of such an increase in our services will cause a substantial rise in taxes and a huge investment that will also be ongoing.

Thank you to the City of Pitt Meadows and staff for the splendid reuse of an old, empty building on a shoe-string budget. The new public art gallery will inspire, amuse and promote not only current and emerging artists, but those coming up through our schools, looking to their future.

The growth of a city is not only measured by its nuts and bolts practicality, but also it’s livability and cultural viability. We should not be solely known as a net exporter of blueberries, cranberries and commuters.

Darlene Mercer

Pitt Meadows