Fire Station Plan Discussions Focus on Site Selection

At the last Council meeting, Fire Chief Bill Balfour presented recommendations for the Conceptual Design and Site Selection for the new Fire Hall.

The report was based on the analysis and recommendations from Greenview Environmental Management, consultants who prepared a Site Selection Report in which four potential sites were analyzed.

The location options were compared considering a range of factors, including response time implications, capital costs associated with the acquisition and construction of the facility including grading and servicing requirements as well as implications of each site on the project timeline.

The sites included a privately owned residential property located at the northeast corner of the intersection of County Rd. 10 and Fallis Line; the municipally-owned property just north of the municipal offices at 988 County Rd. 10; a portion of the Community Centre site with frontage on Fallis Line; and the Lion’s Den property at 920 Larmer Line.

The report identified the Community Centre site as the preferred location for the facility, however no one on council agreed.  This site was donated by the Towerhill subdivision developer to fulfill the parkland allocation for this development.   A number of potential users with ideas on how to best use this area for additional recreational use have come forward, with suggestions that include a bicycle Pump track and additional soccer fields.

The consensus amongst council members was the preferred location was the north side of the municipal office, which was ranked second by the consultant.  This site presents a number of challenges mainly due to its topography.  There is an elevation change of six to seven meters between the existing municipal office parking lot and the proposed Fire Hall site.  This would require considerable site preparation and probably a significant retaining wall to allow a smooth transition between the buildings.

Council also took issue with the proposed access from this site through a new road in the Towerhill North subdivision that has yet to be built.  They strongly preferred emergency vehicles leave the area directly onto County Rd. 10, allowing that returning vehicles which are moving more slowly and quietly access the facility through the new road.  Servicing this site will require connecting to water and wastewater services which may temporarily access them through the municipal office.

Further analysis of the incremental capital expenditure the project might incur at this site, along with confirmation that direct access to County Rd. 10 will be possible has begun.  Recognizing the desire to get this project moving, the consultant suggested the new analysis could be available in six to eight weeks.

While the location is still under discussion, the conceptual drawings for the building were approved.  They include a drive-through bay to accommodate satellite operations for Peterborough County-City Paramedics, ensuring the future needs of the for fire and ambulance services for the community are addressed.  KG

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