Pitt Meadows Fire and Rescue doesn’t have plans to expand its team in the New Year. (THE NEWS – files)

Top Stories 2019: 2020 budget includes $10M for Pitt Meadows fire

Fire chief Mike Larsson presented department’s 2020 budget to council

The Pitt Meadows fire department added additional resources this year, but has no plans to grow further in 2020.

“We will be conducting an internal fire service review next year. Once concluded, we will determine if additional resources will be required to maintain our current service levels,” said fire chief Mike Larsson.

He was appointed to the position early this year following the retirement of former chief Don Jolly in late 2018.

Two hires this past year meant fire crews had better daytime coverage of the community.

READ MORE: Pitt Meadows approves hiring two more career firefighters

“We hired two additional resources in March of 2019 to allow us to have coverage from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week,” he said.

On Dec. 11, Larsson presented the 2020 department’s business plan to council.

The department will have a $1.8 million operating budget and $8.9 million for capital projects.

One of the major projects in the new year includes replacing the current fire hall, for which $8 million was set aside.

The building will replace the existing fire hall, which opened in 1983.

A 2017 feasibility study found the existing hall was significantly undersized and required seismic upgrades.

READ MORE: New Pitt Meadows fire hall in design stage

While the fire hall undergoes construction, Pitt Meadows Fire and Rescue Service will remain fully operational.

The construction of the new fire hall is expected to cost $15 million, and expected to reach completion in fall 2022.

Fire and rescue services account for 8.1 per cent of the city’s 2020 budget.


@JotiGrewal_
joti.grewal@blackpress.ca

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