A new group has been formed in the Cape Breton community of Gabarus to finish renovations to the local fire hall.

Work was started on the project three years ago but stalled because of funding and other issues.

The community financed the first phase of construction through local fundraisers, and the fire department was able to get some provincial funding.

That initial work involved doubling the size of the building with a new addition to house the fire trucks. The older section of the fire hall now houses a community centre, but the interior has to be finished.

Local contractor Wayne Dickie is chair of the building committee. He said work will start next week on a business plan to map out what's needed to finish the job and how much it will cost. Dickie said the committee will turn to government to help pay for the work.

Cape Breton Regional Mayor Cecil Clarke said the municipality is prepared to help by co-hosting a community meeting with MLA Alfie MacLeod and MP Roger Cuzner.

"It's going to be important for the community to identify their priorities and get them brought forward this spring so they can talk to ACOA about what's necessary and how the municipality can play a role," Clarke said. 

Community groups in Gabarus have been successful in recent years in acquiring an upgrade to the community's seawall, and most recently in having its 125-year-old lighthouse moved away from the eroding cliffside.

Dickie said his group hopes the final phase of construction on the fire hall upgrade will be completed in time for Gabarus's 300th anniversary celebration in July.