Fire hall location decision rescinded
The Observer

Council walked back a decision about the location of an estimated $1.9-million replacement Colborne Road fire station Monday, giving time instead for a station location study as part of a new fire master plan.

The recommendation to reassess the location for the new fire station comes amid a lot of turnover at city hall, including a new fire chief, a new chief administrative officer and a new director of finance, said deputy fire Chief Bryan Van Gaver.

“Given the turnover, we thought we should hit pause and look at this with a fresh set of eyes,” he said.

The city’s current fire master plan dates back to 2007, and creating a new one will likely cost $50,000 to $70,000, CAO Chris Carter said.

After 12 years, an update is needed, he said.

“Technology has changed in 12 years. Response time has changed. Personnel has changed. The way we deliver services has changed,” he said.

A request for proposal process is expected to start soon.

Hopes are to fast-track the process to get the master plan back in front of council, in phases if necessary, inside of a year, he said.

There’s no intention at this time to change the location for the proposed new fire hall, he said.

“This is just staff dotting the i’s, crossing the t’s, just to make sure this is the location we want and this is the service we need moving forward, not only today but maybe the next five, 10, 15, 20 years down the road,” he said.

“There’s no intention to change the location unless something comes back from a third party.”

Council still gets to decide where the fire hall goes, he said.

The urgency to get the new information back to council is important, said Coun. Brian White, who expressed concern about delaying the project for a new fire hall.

A replacement has been eyed for the fire hall for years.

“I’ll support the motion with the hopes we can move as quickly as possible on defining what the most appropriate location is for this fire station so we can finally move on,” White said.

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