Big investments in fire services to be debated at Amherstburg Town Council
BlackburnNews.com 
 

Amherstburg Town Council will debate whether to build some new fire stations on Monday night.

It faces two options, whether to move to a two-fire station model or a three-station model. Both will require significant capital investment.

The town has three fire stations now, but two of them are past their estimated useful life of 40-years, and Amherstburg is growing.

Amherstburg Fire Department recently underwent a review to ensure it was capable of providing the appropriate level of service to the town’s 21,000 residents. Nearing the end of that review, it “became abundantly clear to staff that changes were required.” The report to councillors said the department discovered it might not be able to meet coverage targets, especially in the event of concurrent emergencies or a major incident.

Under the first option, the town would demolish fire station 2 on Middle Side Road and build a new facility on the same site. Fire station 3 on Concession 6 South and Fire Station 1 on Sandwich Street would be decommissioned, and staff would be relocated to the new fire hall on Middle Side Road. A second station would be built at the Libro Centre. The staff complement would remain the same.

The report estimates the cost of that option at $8-million.

Under the second and more expensive option, the fire halls on Middle Side Road and Concession 6 South would be torn down and rebuilt at their existing locations, and fire station 1 would be renovated. Fire station 1 needs a new roof and six by doors at the front and back of the building.

The capital cost estimate for option B is $8.8-million, but operating costs would increase by $150,000 because the town would have to bring on another 20 volunteer firefighters and hire more full-time staff.

This year’s municipal budget did consider fire station redevelopment in its five-year capital outlook with an estimate of $6-million. Of that, $2-milion was set aside for 2025, and $4-million would be incurred beyond five years. It also included a capital estimate for fire servicing improvements on Boblo Island for $675,000.

Monday’s report notes the outlook is just a rough spending plan to identify future projects and is subject to change.

 

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