City of Powell River Council will consider a recommendation to provide a secondary firehall site option at the Powell River works yard.
At the June 24 council meeting, fire chief Terry Peters reported to council regarding the potential siting of a new emergency services facility, coming from the emergency services facility select advisory committee established to look into its development.
In a written report to council, Peters stated the committee had been meeting since October 2019, reviewing reports and information compiled on a proposed emergency services facility. Peters further stated the committee had expressed concern that the city council-endorsed site on Barnet Street, adjacent to the RCMP detachment, may not be the best location for an emergency services facility.
“The City of Powell River public works yard on Duncan Street has been identified by the committee as being a potential future site of an emergency services facility,” stated Peters. He added that the committee carried a motion that public works yard be the preferred location for further investigation.
Speaking to council, Peters said the advisory committee was seeking council’s approval for the recommendation on additional sites.
He said details of the location have so far been directed to the Barnet Street site and the committee has reviewed all of the information compiled to date.
“Going over every detail in these reports, and for the engagement we want to bring forward for the community, [the committee] believes it’s in the best interest to review every single site, and they want to have another site that would be feasible that we can bring to the community as another option,” said Peters.
He said the location the committee was looking at in the public works yard is on Duncan Street and Ontario Avenue.
Peters said with the second site selection, the committee needed to bring consultants back to town to take a look at the works yard site. When the last survey was done on Barnet Street, it came in under budget and there is money left over in that account, he added.
Peters said the money would cover the $8,500 consulting fee from Johnston Davidson Architecture, the same company that conducted the Barnet study. He added that city director of infrastructure Tor Birtig has been consulted and has no concerns about the public works yard as long as the yard is not compromised.
“We’re looking for council’s approval to bring that forward,” said Peters.
Councillor George Doubt said he’d like to move the adoption of the recommendation to the next council meeting because it’s being proposed that a few thousand dollars of taxpayer money is being spent and he’d like to give people an opportunity to voice their thoughts.
Doubt said his understanding is that the study would provide information on whether the proposed firehall of the size the committee is talking about fits on the piece of property. Peters said that was correct. He said there has not been geotechnical, avian or riparian studies done at the public works yard, which has been done at the Barnet location.
Councillor Jim Palm said he wanted to compliment Peters, council representative Maggie Hathaway and the committee for thinking outside the box, looking for the best fit for the community.
“The city-owned property is central, easy to build on without any showstoppers attached, like streams, which can run into a hefty sum to mitigate,” said Palm. “It’s an excellent idea and we should go ahead with the study.”
Council will decide on the recommendation at its next meeting.