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The new Sydney building will replace both the Ashby station, which has already been torn down, and the aging station in Whitney Pier. (The Canadian Press)

Plans to build a new fire station in Sydney, N.S., are on hold as the Cape Breton Regional Municipality grapples with its crippling finances.

Design work on the $3.5 million project has been underway for the past year and construction on Victoria Road was expected to start this spring. The municipality is now looking for more money from the other two tiers of government.

Mayor Cecil Clarke said the fire station is a priority under the municipality’s proposed five-year capital plan.

"The reality just comes down to the cost sharing requirements that are in place. It's part of the capital plan so we just have to wait for the response from the federal and provincial governments," he said.

"That's why the budget was approved in principle, because we didn't have the full amount in place and we don't have a cost share agreement yet, but we've been working in earnest with the provincial government and the federal government said they are going to await a response from the province and we're expecting that any day."

Deputy Fire Chief Brent Denny said the new building will replace the Ashby station, which has already been torn down, and the aging station in Whitney Pier. 

"The operations have outgrown that facility. It was a facility that was build 40 years ago as a temporary building and the crew that's in there now is cramped for space and with the equipment that the need," he said.

Clarke said construction could begin in the fall if the federal and provincial government approve the plan.