Aging Summerside fire hall in need of an upgrade

Summerside city council is trying to make an important decision about what to do with its aging main fire hall.

Ice, water crept in through leaky roof, ruining ceiling and flooding much of 2nd floor

Summerside city council is trying to make an important decision about what to do with its aging main fire hall.

Jim Peters, chief of the Summerside fire department, said the city's main hall is showing its age this winter.

A few weeks ago, ice and water crept in through the leaky roof, ruining the ceiling and flooding much of the second floor.

Peters said that’s just the latest problem in the 53-year-old building.

“The building is getting older. We’ve had some issues in the basement with water in the basement in the spring and the fall. We’ve had some movement in the floor,” he said.

Peters said the space is also too cramped for the more than 40 volunteer firefighters.

“Not a lot of room to work here. So that's where we're at, we're looking for a new facility,” he said.

Coun. Tina Mundy, who chairs the fire and police services committee said the city has heard the message loud and clear, the question is what to do about it.  

The fire department suggested shutting down the main fire hall, along with the city's second hall located five kilometres away and constructing one larger building to replace them.

The city commissioned an independent study to see whether that plan -- or any other -- makes sense for Summerside.

“We wanted to take the opinion out of it, and we wanted an independent person to come in and say, ‘Yes this needs to be done', or ‘No, this doesn't need to be done,’” said Mundy.

The study was completed by an insurance adjusters group to be presented at Summerside city council Monday night.

Peters has read through it already, but won't get into details until it's in front of council.

“They are going to advise whether we can or cannot go with one fire hall without affecting insurance rates within the city,” he said.

Mundy is hoping the federal government will chip in to help the city pay for the project.

“They have a lot of programs out there. But again, I think fire services is something you can't skimp on,” she said.

Mundy said whatever the city ultimately does decide to do with its fire halls, she's keen to get the ball rolling. She's hopeful the city will have a plan in place before its budget comes out the end of March.


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