Council approves fire hall project

Hay River is getting a new fire hall.

Council approved the $5.64-million facility during a special meeting on May 15, with all present councillors voting in favour.

Members of council reiterated their comments from the previous evening’s committee of the whole meeting, saying they all have confidence in the design and awarded contract.

The contract is going to the low bidder, Arctic Canada Construction, for the original price tag.

Fire Chief Ross Potter is thrilled with council’s approval, saying the project has been in the works for a long time.

“It’s been about 15 years that we have been working on this,” said Potter. “We are very pleased it got accepted finally.”

Potter said a majority of firefighters had input on the project to ensure the new facility met all their requirements.

Minus a few features, such as a firefighter training room and a rehab room, Potter said the facility will meet the present and future needs of the department.

“We’re happy with it,” he said. “It’s got everything we asked for.”

Potter is confident the community, as well as the fire department, will benefit from a new facility.

“Firefighter safety is number one,” he said. “And we will also have quicker response times because all of our equipment is in one spot.”

Coun. Kevin Wallington is pleased the project was finally approved, stating he is confident council and administration have chosen the best design for the town and for the department.

“I am very pleased this project is moving forward,” Wallington said. “Council has done their due diligence and I am confident that this facility will meet our department’s needs.”

The project is expected to break ground next month.

One of the major concerns regarding a new fire hall is the price tag, and where

the funding will be coming from to complete the $5.64-million project. Here is

a summary of the funding, along with expenditures to date.

Funding:

Building Canada Fund (2012) $2,155,949 (34.77 per cent)

Community Capacity Building Fund (2012) $1,057,512 (17.06 per cent)

Capital Public Infrastructure Fund (2012) $2,486,539 (40.11 per cent)

Capital Public Infrastructure Fund (2013) $500,000 (8.06 per cent)

Total funding $6,200,000

Project expenditures to date:

Advertising $9,666.95

Printing $420.01

Consultant $232,081.65

Total expenditures $242,168.61