Saanich Fire Hall #2 budget set at $26.5 M
Municipalities across the Capital region such as Saanich are replacing or upgrading many of the 25 fire department facilities, a top priority in their efforts to renew crumbling infrastructure for the next generation.
In general, Grumpy Taxpayer$ is concerned about the massive and expensive infrastructure deficit – along with repairs and maintenance bills – across the Capital region and its impact on the taxpayer.
“In this move to renew infrastructure in the region, is anyone asking, ‘Do we need 25 fire halls or can some be consolidated?” says Stan Bartlett, chair of Grumpy Taxpayer$.
Saanich is finally tackling its enormous infrastructure deficit starting with the redevelopment of Fire Hall #2 at a cost of $26.5 Million.
Not funding the project would “create unintended risks to public safety which are sure to increase as time goes on,” according to a recent administrative report to council in late May.
The funding will come from the district’s major replacement and reserve fund and project completion is expected by 2023.
A redeveloped Fire Hall #2 at 4595 Elk Lake Drive is second on list of 10 Saanich facilities needing upgrading, replacement or relocating.
Fire Station #2 Redevelopment, District of Saanich, May 16, 2019.
Is Saanich council put of touch? Infrastructure deficit looms, Grumpy Taxpayer$, May 2, 2019.
Other regional fire hall updatesFire Hall #1 still not gone to public hearings
The Sidney Community Safety Building – the largest public infrastructure project ever in Sidney – held its official opening June 21.
Built at a cost of $16.35 Million, the 1,409 square metre facility will house the volunteer fire department, an emergency operations centre, six or more ambulances, and function as a backup town hall.
In March 2018, it was announced that a new Victoria public safety building will be built downtown under an agreement reached with local developer Dalmatian Developments Limited Partnership, a Jawl Residential and Nadar Holdings Ltd. venture.
The state-of-the-art, post-seismic rated facility will be located on Johnson Street as part of a new mixed-use development adjacent to Pacific Mazda. The new facility will house fire and rescue services and Victoria’s first purpose-built Emergency Operations Centre, along with paramedics and ambulance facilities.
The province’s CISGI report in 2017 reported cost of fire services differs substantially from $73.39 per taxpayer in the Highlands (2015) to $215.10 in Oak Bay (2015). Most of urban core municipalities are staffed by professional fire fighters, and in the region, by volunteer firefighters.