Charlottetown fire hall decision waiting on reports from chief, insurance company

Breaking ground on the new Charlottetown fire hall is still a ways off according to chair of the committee in charge of the project.

City council is waiting on 2 reports that will help them decide whether to have 2 or 3 stations

The City of Charlottetown is waiting on two reports to help determine whether it will have 2 or 3 fire halls in the city. (Pat Martel/CBC)

Breaking ground on a new Charlottetown fire hall is still a ways off, according to the chair of the committee in charge of the project.

Kevin Ramsay confirmed the new fire station in West Royalty will go ahead, but there are still more details to be ironed out. The city is waiting on a feasibility study on staffing from the fire chief and a study from an insurance company before deciding whether to have two or three stations.

This is the second insurance study on the project, the first being in 2007. That report recommended only two fire halls, the existing one on Kent Street downtown and the new one in West Royalty.

The original plan was to close Station 2 in Sherwood when the new station was built. But last summer, some councillors raised concerns with that plan.

The downtown Charlottetown Fire Department station will be in operation no matter what plan is decided on by Charlottetown city council. (Pat Martel/CBC)

The city went back to the drawing board to look at the feasibility of having three stations. Both the chief's report and the insurance report are expected in the coming weeks. After that, it will be up to city council to vote on whether to have two or three stations.

Ramsay, who chairs the advanced planning and special projects committee, said it's hard to say if the latest report will recommend two or three halls.

"There are people in Ward 10 who do not want to lose the fire station in Sherwood and I understand that because it's very important out there," Ramsay said.

The City of Charlottetown has to decide if they will close Station 2 in Sherwood, pictured above.

He said he hopes the insurance report covers how big the new hall needs to be and whether it will require full-time staffing, which would increase the cost of the project.

"At the end of the day, it's all going to land on the council's laps and we'll all have to decide on what road we'll have to go down here."

New truck on the way

The city has already bought land at Sherwood Road and Malpeque Road for the new station in West Royalty. The city's capital budget also includes a $165,000 allocation for a design process for the new hall. Ramsay said that money will be set aside until after council decides what plan to go with.

It will probably be a couple of months before council will decide on a plan, says Kevin Ramsay, chair of the advanced planning and special projects committee. (Natalia Goodwin/CBC)

There was also an addition to the capital budget for a new fire truck. After the budget was passed, council added the new truck after receiving more information from the fire chief.

"There was a report written that outlined all the fire trucks that they have and when they were supposed to be replaced," said councillor Jason Coady, chair of the city's protective and emergency services committee.

"Based on that information and some information our fire chief Randy MacDonald provided council, it was deemed it was time to replace this fire truck."

The new truck will cost approximately $905,000 according to the city, and it is replacing a truck that is 29 years old. The new truck is being custom built and the hope is it will be in the fleet within the next 18 months.

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About the Author

Natalia Goodwin

Video Journalist

Natalia is a video journalist in P.E.I. She has also worked for CBC N.L.

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