Fire Hall #1 Open House
Prince George, B.C. – The City of Prince George is holding open house sessions which allow the public to obtain information about two proposed projects, replacement of the Four Seasons Pool and the building of a new Fire Hall #1.
The proposed fire hall was dealt with on Saturday, first in a morning session at the current hall and then in the afternoon at the site of the proposed new hall on Massey Drive, to the east of the YMCA facility.
Fire Hall #1 was built in 1956 and, it is contended, is not of sufficient size to accommodate all of the equipment and staff presently working out of it. An October 28th referendum will ask voters whether they approve the City borrowing up to $15 million for the development and construction of a new hall.
250 News attended both the morning and afternoon sessions on Saturday and asked members of the public for their opinions on the project. We received these responses:
-“My only concern with the City in general is how they spend money, and do they do it in the most efficient manner? I recognize that the fire hall is old and probably needs to be replaced but I worry about whether they will keep their spending in check and do it as efficiently as possible.” Asked if they thought one project should have priority over the other they said “In my opinion would be the fire hall before the swimming pool.”
-“From what I’ve been told and what I can see I think there is (a need for a new hall) because this is kind of an outdated building to move equipment in and out. For increasing response time I think its crucial that they update.” On the proposed location of a new hall they said “In regards to faster response it is (a good spot) but otherwise it’s on a flood plain so I’m not sure.” “I think that the fire hall should go ahead because this is the main fire hall. As far as the pool is concerned, I’m not in touch a lot with the pool so I don’t know. it would be nice to have an updated pool as well, but all this costs money so I’m not sure. There’s going to have to be a trade-off there.”
-“The fire hall, I definitely think they need to move it because I don’t like the location when I’m downtown driving because if that bell goes off you don’t know where to go. I really think it will be highly more visible to motorists over in the new area, and I think it would be beneficial to the whole city to have a little better coverage.” “The poll issue, yes they need a new pool. Do they need all the bells and whistles they’ve put in with it, I’m not sure. Do they really need a new slide? When I used to go regularly to the pool it was not all that many kids in the evening and you didn’t see people on the slide all that much so do we need one? I believe that’s a very expensive luxury because they have to build it so much higher.”
-“I think if the city needs it the city should get it. It would appear that there is (a need) however I live in the regional district so I wouldn’t be paying the taxes for it, and of course we all want taxes as low as possible but we also want to be served, so there you have it.”
-“I agree with it (fire hall proposal), the building is old, it’s too bad that they have nice equipment and it has to sit outside if they had it at this fire hall. Thank god they have another one that they have renovated. So I think it’s a good idea.” On the new location they say “I think its a good location, it’s out of the residential but they’re still close enough to respond.” Regarding the pool they say “I have a small child and I do believe that we need a pool. I just don’t know if it needs to be right now.”
-“Yes I do think they should build a new fire hall because they’ve got a fire truck with a ladder that reaches up to the high rises that should be closer to downtown. It’s way up there on Ospika where there’s not very many high rises.”
-“There’s need for a new fire hall or expand the Hart fire hall or the one on the Vanderhoof Highway (16). I don’t really object to a new one here but what’s going to happen to that one down there? And by the time they get the drawings done it’ll be two-and-a-half years gone by, and if they think they can build it for $15 million it’ll be $25 million by that time. We’ll all pay for it.”
Questions on borrowing for a new Fire Hall #1 and the replacement of the Four Seasons Swimming Pool go to referendum on October 28th.
The Open House on the swimming pool will be held at the current pool from 4:30 pm to 8 pm on October 18th.
We could solve a number of the problems at Fire Hall No. one by making Fire Hall No. 2 at 5th and Ospika Hall No. 1. By doing this we solve the problem with storing the big engine, because that’s where it is stored at present. We also have room at No. 2 to make the necessary upgrades to house more engines, more office space, and this area is not subject to flooding.
The issue of response time would remain the same as it is now, however we should keep in mind that it worked fine for responses for 60 years and its only now, that they are using response time as a reason for building a new fire hall. I doubt that the response time from a hall at Masse would make any significant difference to response times.
So why not make No. 2 No. 1. Could it be, because they want to get access to the property that No. 1 presently sits on.??
Who knows. However surely all these aspects would be looked at before we spend $15 million plus interest. Right??
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