New $1.2 million Milverton fire station now operational

New $1.2 million Milverton fire station now operational
By Jonathon Juha
Stratford Beacon Herald
Link to article: New $1.2 million Milverton fire station now operational

Perth East fire Chief William Hunter stands outside the department's new fire station in Milverton. The new $1.2 million facility is replacing a much smaller station, built in the 1960s, and which the department had long outgrown, he said. (JONATHAN JUHA/THE BEACON HERALD)

Perth East fire Chief William Hunter can only describe the recently built fire station in the Village of Milverton as a much-needed addition to the community.

The new $1.2 million, 9,000-sq.-ft. facility is replacing the older station, built in the 1960s, and which simply was too small to contain the ever-growing equipment needs of the fire department, he explained.

“The community is growing . . . and as it grows, the fire protection equipment needs to grow with it,” Hunter said. “We really outgrew it.”

At less than 5,000 sq.-ft., the space at the older station was so limited that volunteers firefighters had to get all the trucks out of the two-bay station simply to conduct training exercises.

The doors at the station were so small, especially considering the size of modern firetrucks, that when the department purchased a new aerial truck in 2016 they had to be modified to allow for the truck to fit in.

Both those issues are now things of the past, Hunter said, adding that the process of making the project a reality was anything but easy.

Planning for the station began in 2015, but it wasn’t until last year that the township was able to put the plan in motion.

“It took us some time to come up with a workable business plan,” he said.

As part of that plan, the township auctioned the older station, and the $350,000 it received for the property was used to offset the costs of the new facility.

Added to the extra space, the facility also includes other amenities such as Wi-Fi service, accessible washrooms and a state-of-the-art training room.

The building is also more energy efficient, and it is expected to reduce energy consumption by 30 to 40 per cent compared to the older station.

Though a few external details still need to be completed, the 23-member crew already moved into the new building, expected to serve the department for the next 50 years.

An official open house is also expected to take place later this year summer.

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