SUMMERSIDE – Summerside city council has set aside $250,000 in the 2014 municipal budget to begin the planning process for a new fire hall.
© Mike Carson/Journal Pioneer
Councillor Tina Mundy
Firefighters are now operating out of a 60-year-old building that is virtually crumbling around them. Over the past few years, the floor has had to be shored up. There's a water problem in the basement and earlier in the winter, ice build-up caused the roof to separate resulting in the entire second floor being flooded, ruining ceilings and walls.
In announcing the funding Deputy Mayor Bruce MacDougall, chairman of the city’s finance committee, said it has become a safety issue.
“Protecting the heath and safety of our citizens and their property is one of our top priorities,” MacDougall said. “We want to ensure that we will always have the key infrastructure in place to do this. We are dedicating $250,000 this year to start planning for a new fire station for the city, a fire station that will incorporate all the current best practices in fire protection and ensure our residents have the most current life-saving infrastructure available.”
City council has received a preliminary report on a new facility. The details of that report were not made public, but once the final draft is in hand, the information will be released.
Councillor Tina Mundy, chairwoman of the city’s fire services committee said, Monday night’s allocation will get the project off the ground and set in motion plans to replace the aging fire hall.
“It’s initially for planning to start the planning process,” Mundy said. “There are drawings that need to be done, there are architects, there are many things that are involved in the beginning of a project like that. The $250,000, it might not all be used but it might. We felt that was a fair amount to set aside to start the process, whatever is deemed necessary to start the process.”
The city is hoping to tap into the 2014 federal infrastructure program to help defray the costs of building a new fire hall.