City council gave first reading 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 30 Avenue and Lees Street location was deemed the best option.”
The station, currently located on 32 Street, would continue to be used as a dispatch centre and administrative office.
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 30 Avenue 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.
“Although there are some costs that will be incurred due to the revisions to the storm water pond and the relocation of the ball diamond that may not have been necessary at other sites identified throughout the process, we had to consider costs versus compliance with the standards we are obligated to meet,” Damberger said.
“We met with user groups and received feedback from local area residents throughout our public consultation phase, there were some concerns that arose which will be minimized throughout the development process.”
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 as well.
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.
Council supported first reading with the exception of Councillor Buck Buchanan, who doesn’t agree with the relocation site.
Moving forward, there will be other phases to the process before the station can be built, and there will be more opportunities for public input on the relocation in the coming year.