Loan authorization for Northside Fire Hall has been given by the qathet Regional District board of directors.
At the regional board meeting on Thursday, July 25, directors voted in favour of the Northside Fire Hall Loan Authorization Bylaw, which authorizes borrowing of $753,153 over a term not to exceed 30 years.
qathet Regional District used an alternate approval process for the loan authorization for the new fire hall. Using this process, if fewer than 10 per cent of the eligible voters fill in and submit elector response forms that outline opposition to the proposal, then the project can proceed if the regional board chooses. It is a much less expensive procedure than going to referendum.
As of the deadline at 4:30 pm on Monday, July 8, 28 elector response forms were received by the regional district. The total number of responses received was less than half of what was required to defeat the alternative approval process. A mail-out went to 606 property owners of record containing the bylaw, map of service area, electoral response forms and instructions on how to complete the forms.
Electoral Area A director and regional board chair Patrick Brabazon characterized the existing fire hall as “decrepit.”
“We couldn’t even get a modern fire truck in there,” said Brabazon. “The new facility will hold a fire truck and a little support facility required, the rest of what you need to keep a fire department going.”
Brabazon said the new structure will be of great benefit to the community of Lund.
The building will also be constructed to seismic standards, so that “when the big one happens, our fire department will be standing,” said Brabazon.
He added that the property for the new fire hall has been donated by Lund people and “we are very grateful for that.”
The new property is in a better location than the existing fire hall, because by moving the auxiliary fire hall a little further south, the area of coverage is increased for insurance purposes. Other residents up there are going to benefit, said Brabazon.
The building will now be going out to tender for construction.