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Council considers new fire halls report


Several council members questioned the immediate need for new fire stations, given the current Fire Master Plan for the city. Wilson noted some details in the plan do not reflect the reality of dealing with some emergency calls. «I can’t meet the response time now in the Fire Master Plan,» he said, noting that because of space restrictions some of the auxiliary gear is not located at a single central spot for quick access. Council members agreed with the report’s conclusion that both the Rockland and Bour- get fire stations need to be bigger to meet both the equipment and staffing needs of the fire department. Their main concern is the cost and how the two stations will meet both current and future community needs. «We have to have it right the first time,»

Themayor andmembers of Clarence-Rock- land city council agree that theremay be a need in the future for a couple of new fire halls, for both the Town of Rockland and the Village of Bourget. What they’re not certain about, yet, is howmuch those new hallsmight cost to the city andwhether or not theremight be a way of expanding the existing Rockland station rather than build- ing a whole new fire house for the town. Council spent a couple hours Monday evening for a special committee of the whole session.The sole itemon the June 12meeting agenda was an update report from admin- istration and consultants from the Ottawa- based firm of MHPM, on the space needs for the Rockland and Bourget fire stations along with cost estimates for new facilities. «This is a fairly significant decision coun- cil will be making,» said fire chief Brian Wilson, during his opening remarks on the power-point presentation of the report. «We are building for the future.» Wilson noted that the primary problem for both the present Rockland and Bourget fire stations is the current structure’s lack of adequate space for proper storage of their fire trucks and all the personal gear the fire- fighters use when they go out on a call, as well as auxiliary equipment like the trailer- mounted portable generator or the marine rescue boat. The present facilities also lack

Y aura-t-il une nouvelle caserne de pompiers à la fois à Rockland (en haut) et à Bourget (en bas) ? Le conseil municipal réfléchit à la question. —photos Gregg Chamberlain

the space needed for firefighters to do any indoor training or office/meeting space for department administration. The chief also observed that current up- dated information on the municipality’s geophysical profile shows that the Rockland station is located within a known seismic zone and that the present decades-old build- ing is not designed tomeet provincial build- ing code standards for an emergency service facility located in a potential disaster area. The update report presented details of several fire stations built in other Ontario towns which are comparable to what could be new, updated facilities for Rockland and

said councillor André J. Lalonde of Ward 5. «We’ve got to plan ahead,» added council- lor Michel Levert of Ward 7. «We can do it in stages. We don’t have to do it in one shot.» Mayor Guy Desjardins noted that the one factor to consider with budgeting for new fire halls is how to finance themwithout putting too great a burden on residential taxpayers. «There’s a lot of industrial (land) and such in Pembroke,»Mayor Desjardins explained, «which can pay the bill.» Council members discussed the pos- sibility of using the existing Rockland fire station as part of an expanded setup. Chief Wilson said that might provemore expensive because of the need to make sure the old facility met provincial code standards for a seismic zone emergency service struc- ture and also any environmental cleanup demands should asbestos or other banned constructionmaterials be found within the building during renovation. Several council members expressed hope that a renovated and expanded Rockland station might still be an option. «I think there’s a way of finding a good compromise,» claimed councillor Carl Gri- mard of Ward 3. «What we’re saying is the bottom line has to come down,» saidMayor Desjardins. Council decided to hold off for now on any resolution recommendations until ad- ministration can provide another update report later in the season, looking at all pos- sible options, both for needs design and financing for the two fire stations. One optionwhich council wants adminis- tration to investigate is a possible agreement with the United Counties of Prescott-Russell for leasing space, in either or both the Rock- land and Bourget stations, for the regional ambulance service.

Bourget.The $5million, 17,222-square foot five-bay structure in Pembroke is considered the best example for a newRockland station, with the actual final design tailored to the local needs for housing a four-vehicle fire station with room for both the three daytime fire administration vehicles and the three auxiliary equipment trailers.The new $2mil- lion, 9340-square foot station in Limoges is considered the best example of what might be possible in the future for Bourget. BothWilson and theMHPMconsultants both emphasized that the final design for any future new fire stations for Rockland and Bourget would meet the actual needs of each facility.The Pembroke and Limoges stations are just examples of how large those facilities might be with a rough estimation of possible cost to construct.

Francis Drouin Député fédéral, MP Glengarry - Prescott - Russell

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