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Callander chooses location for new fire hall

No concrete construction plans are set, but the town now has a designated build site
20181010 callander fire hall turl
Callander has designated a site for the new fire hall. Jeff Turl/BayToday

Callander’s new fire hall will be built on Callander Bay Drive, near Swale Street.

The 2.7-hectare parcel of land has been owned by the municipality for years but has not been used for much except storing road fill.

As per a recent council decision, this property is now officially designated as the site for the new fire hall.

For a time, consideration was given to building across the street from the Community Centre on Swale, but after a geotechnical study was done, the lot was not deemed “favourable for development,” council’s report explained.

The town is also considering using the site for a new municipal operations facility, which would include a 6,000 sq. ft. sand dome and an 800 sq. ft. salt shed.

Plans for a new fire hall go back to 2012, when the town conducted a facility accommodation review of municipal buildings.

That report recommended priority be given to constructing a new fire station. The suggestion was to construct a 20,430 sq. ft. building that would house administration offices and truck bays.

The 2012 report also suggested the Callander Bay Drive site as a possible location.

Since the 2012 report, there has been the 2005 facility report, the 2007 building condition assessment, a 2008 facility accommodation review, and most recently, an update of the original 2012 report.

The findings of each, recommend building a new fire hall, which has “been in need of replacement and/or rehabilitation for many years,” a council report explains.

The current building “is undersized as per current legislation,” resulting in “many health and safety concerns.”

See: Local fire departments get COVID funding

With the site now officially designated, “I’m quite happy about that,” said Mayor Robb Noon. “We have the new home for our fire hall.”

This home may remain empty for some time as construction dates remain uncertain.

Funding is the issue, and the town will discuss the new build in upcoming budget meetings. There are also plans to apply for grants from both provincial and federal governments.

Noon further explained there will be a discussion of possibly adding the Public Works department to the build, to save money on resources in the long run.

About the Author: David Briggs

David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter covering civic and diversity issues for BayToday. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada
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