Quesnel City Council has approved a grant application for upgrades and renovations to the downtown fire hall.
It is for roughly 2 1/2 million dollars to the investing in Canada Infrastructure program under the COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure stream.
Community Development Coordinator Lindsay Blair went over a few of the details…
“The project is for fire hall number one upgrades, upgrades and renovations which will include things like fire barrier walls, upgraded doors and hardware, new life safety and lighting systems, replacing mechanical systems, replacing plumbing.”
Blair says it will help to reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions, and she says seismic stability reinforcement is another significant upgrade as right now the building doesn’t meet code.
There was some discussion at the Council table on Tuesday night about going ahead with this project even if they aren’t successful in getting a grant.
City Manager Byron Johnson suggested that Council look at doing this even without the grant as he says it is a much less expensive solution that building a new fire hall which he said would be well over 10 million dollars.
He says it also solves some other problems…
“We’re not spending or utilizing other city lands which are scarce downtown to try to find a location for it for a downtown fire hall. And in addition, if you go the route of replacement of a fire hall then you end up with the question of what do you do with the existing fire hall building, which would be very expensive to pull down because there is asbestos in that building.”
Johnson says they’ve also invested some money in the project already…
“There has been a lot of work done. The initial consulting work and then we hired some structural engineers to help us put this together, it’s a very detailed and well thought out plan.”
Johnson says it solves almost all of the significant issues with the existing fire hall…
“The only significant issue that isn’t really fully solved with this is some of the lack of apparatus space, but it does solve the structural issues, it solves the air handling issues, it solves the fix up of the rest of the fire hall.”
Johnson says there are some potential solutions to solve the problem of apparatus space as well.