City of Powell River forms committee to look at new emergency services facility

Existing fire hall is ‘pretty much spent,’ according to fire chief

City of Powell River Council has named its emergency services facility select advisory committee for the city’s planned emergency services facility to replace the current aging fire hall.

At the council meeting on Thursday, October 17, there was a report from a council in-camera session, naming the committee.

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Councillor Maggie Hathaway said the committee would be working to provide input into the emergency services facility. She said its members come from a variety of backgrounds.

“All of the applicants had really worthwhile backgrounds so it was difficult to make the decision,” said Hathaway.

She said it was expected that a meeting would be called within the next couple of weeks. She added that the committee would initially be talking about terms of reference, how often they meet and other organizational components.

The following persons were appointed to the emergency services facility advisory select committee for a term expiring December 31, 2020: councillor Hathaway, council representative and protective services portfolio holder; Jim Agius, Mark Anderson, Deborah Dee, Robert Hill, Frank Nadalini, Arthur Richards, Stephen Short and Ashley Van Zwietering.

Council carried a motion to appoint these members of the select committee.

“We’re just happy to start the process,” said fire chief Terry Peters in an interview after the meeting. “As I’ve said before, it will involve community engagement and getting the community together.

“It’s a continuation of 23 years; we’ve been talking fire halls for a very long time. Now, it’s coming back into fruition to being a priority for the community.”

Peters said it is important to turn over every stone in terms of what the community can afford and what serves the community’s requirements for fire protection, as well as emergency responses and disaster management.

“We are very big on emergency management,” said Peters. “It comes in many different facets. It’s not just earthquakes, it’s for anything that could come our way, like wildfires, massive storms, floods; emergency services are all of that.”

Peters said a lot of work has been done during the 23 years that building a new facility has been under discussion and he is happy the matter is getting back on the table.

“We’re not building something because we think we need it, we’re building something because we know we need it,” added Peters. “We do the best we can with what we’ve got but the building [fire hall] is pretty much spent.”

 
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