Council approves relocation of fire hall

  • Feb. 25, 2015 4:07 p.m.

City council gave their approval this week to amend the East Hill Major Area Structure Plan to relocate Fire Station #3.

“This change is needed in order to serve the needs of our growing City and ensure we are meeting provincially legislated standards that require us to respond to a call within 10 minutes, 90 per cent of the time,” said Emily Damberger, senior planner.

“Multiple locations were considered for the new facility as part of an in depth review process. The 30th Ave. and Lees Street location was deemed the best option.”

The station, currently located on 32nd St., would continue to be used as a dispatch centre and administrative offices. City officials said 50 different locations were looked at throughout the City and the approved location was the best fit.

Under provincial legislation, the City is required to meet the High Intensity Residential Fire (HIRF) standards, which states that residential fires must be responded to within 10 minutes, 90% of the time.

Currently at the 30th Ave. and Lees Street location, there is a dry storm water management pond and a baseball diamond. The storm water pond will be reconfigured to ensure it will manage stormwater as intended, and the ball diamond will be relocated to an alternate location that is still to be determined.

“We are working to find a site that works best for the ball diamond. Where it is currently, it is not the best location as it has flooded in the past so there has been some maintenance that has had to be done there,” said Damberger.

During the process of pinpointing the best location for the station, consultants took into consideration several factors including the cost of land, the impact on the community and existing infrastructure and the location that would serve the majority of the population.

Factors such as on-street parking, siren noise and traffic congestion were raised during public consultation.

These concerns will be considered as the site is developed, in an effort to minimize the impact on local area residents, Collicutt Centre visitors and the adjacent high schools, she said.

During the public hearing Monday night, two residents from Bower expressed their concerns about the relocation, saying the move will see the fire station be located further away from the subdivision.

“I am opposed to this move,” said Brenda Gulka. “As a taxpayer for 30 years, I am shocked at the lack of common sense. Leave my fire station alone. I hope you sleep at night when the next home in Bower burns to the ground.”

Mayor Tara Veer said she was in favour of the relocation.

“We have a responsibility for the health and safety of all of our citizens. Because the City has grown so rapidly, of the many, many, many options considered, I speak in favour of this motion.”

The motion passed with a vote of 8-1. Councillor Buck Buchanan was opposed to relocation.