$9M approved to build 2 new Windsor fire halls
City plans to close 3 fire stations, build 2 new ones all by the end of 2014
Windsor council approved spending $9 million to build two new fire halls.
The city will close three fire halls and replace them with two new ones; a new Station No. 2 at Milloy Street and Chandler Road and a new Station No. 5 at Northwood Street and Daytona Avenue.
Some people in the city's south end are worried about the location of one of the new fire stations.
"By moving northwest, there will be a delayed response time," said south Windsor resident Gerry Strong, who spoke at council.
He's concerned about the city closing the fire hall on Cabana Road.
"What's going to happen now to our insurance rates? How are you going to explain this to an insurance company? That they're moving in the exact opposite direction to protect south Windsor?" Strong asked. "It doesn't make sense to me."
Fire chief Bruce Montone said after the changes, there will be 10 firefighters responding to calls instead of the current four.
"We're trying to improve response to the whole of the response area," Montone said.
Last year, council approved the re-organization of fire halls as part of a plan to combat a provincial arbitration ruling handed down last fall. Part of the arbitration ruling includes a wage increase and fewer weekly hours for firefighters.
Mayor Eddie Francis said this plan will not raise taxes and will improve service for 50,000 people in the city. He said there are currently more than 94,000 people in Windsor who could use better fire response service.
Coun. Bill Marra had plenty of questions about traffic near the fire hall location at Milloy Street and Chandler Road. The new St. Bernard Catholic school, Tim Hortons on Tecumseh Road and the Ford Test Track are all nearby.
"I'm wondering to what extent we have to look at some changes to on-street parking," Marra said.
Staff plans to look at ways to ensure traffic isn't a problem.
The Windsor Professional Firefighters Association disagrees with the new plan.
The union said last year it will document any incidents of "delayed response times" once city council's new plan for the department is implemented.