Maple Ridge Fire Hall No. 4 up for final vote

$15-million building will cover growing east side

One of the last acts of an expiring Maple Ridge council will be to give the final stamp of approval to a project long within the works of city hall.

Council, at its meeting Tuesday, is to vote on final reading for rezoning a site at 11240 – 238th St. to allow construction of Fire Hall No. 4.

The new hall is proposed for the 10-acre site at 112th Avenue and 238th Street in the fast-growing north Albion neighbourhood.

Fire Hall No. 4 has been in the works for almost two decades and now carries a price tag of about $15 million.

Part of that sum, $6 million, has previously been approved for borrowing and will be paid off through the fire department capital acquisition reserve. A lump sum of $8.6 million will be paid directly from that same reserve, while $388,000 will come from the city’s capital works reserve.

A new firefighter training centre, as well as a computer server room for the city’s information technology will be part of the project, which is part of the earthquake resistant building.

Maple Ridge Fire and Rescue chief Howard Exner said if the project passes final reading, the goal is to have the building open sometime in 2020.

Once open, 20 paid-on-call firefighters will staff the new building, helping improve fire department response times to the eastern part of Maple Ridge.

“It’s an important piece of infrastructure. It’s a fire hall. It’s also a training centre, which will allow our career crews a better place to practise and hone their skills.” Exner said.

The building will also contain a city’s computer room, as well as a conservation area and a firefighters public park as an attraction to the surrounding community.

“It’s a pretty significant investment by the city on very critical … infrastructure that ranges all the way from emergency response to environment on the other side,” Exner said.

The first reading for the bylaw came to council in April, followed by a public hearing in September followed by third reading on Sept. 25. Only one person spoke at the public hearing.

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