The Dashwood Volunteer Fire Department will be getting a new fire hall. — File photo

Dashwood approves $4 million fire hall

Only nine electors petition against project called for since 2012

Residents have endorsed the plan to build a new fire hall for the Dashwood Volunteer Fire Department and also the loan authorization bylaw that would allow the Regional District of Nanaimo to borrow up to $4 million to pay for it.

The support for both initiatives was gauged through the Alternative Approval Process conducted by the RDN and concluded on July 26. There were less than 10 per cent of electors within Electoral Areas F (Coombs, Hilliers, Errington, Whiskey Creek, Meadowood), G (French Creek, San Pareil, Little Qualicum) and H (Bowser, Qualicum Bay, Deep Bay) that submitted opposition to the project.

Out of 1,751 electors, only nine eligible response forms were received.

“We are pleased to have a supportive community, and we are so proud to serve you,” said Dashwood Fire Chief, Nick Acciavatti upon learning that the project will go forward.

The current fire hall was constructed in 1985 and had gone through upgrades that included the addition of the a third bay. In 2012 an assessment report revealed the hall no longer meets today’s seismic standards and needed to be upgraded. The report also included the estimated cost to retrofit and upgrade the hall compared to completely building a new one.

RELATED: Dashwood residents get a look at plans for proposed $4m firehall

The cost to upgrade the building to meet code requirements would have been more than replacing it with a new one. The RDN chose the latter.

“The RDN has worked closely with the Dashwood Volunteer Fire Department to develop a functional and cost-effective fire hall plan that will support the continued protection of our residents,” said Chairman Ian Thorpe. “The new fire hall addresses important priorities for the RDN board as it will serve to reinforce the safety of our communities and the protection of our region’s natural assets.”

The new hall will cost approximately $4 million. It will include two drive-through bays that can hold four fire trucks; a public entrance with an administration area; separate areas for radio communications, IT, mechanical, electrical, sprinklers, gear, storage, training, offices and laundry; two multi-use washrooms and gear/equipment decontamination areas; a workshop; a a self contained breathing apparatus refill/drying room (SCBA) and compressor room.

The design of the new hall will serve as template for future fire hall the RDN plans to build down the road. This will help reduce design and conceptual plans cost.

For details on the fire hall project, visit Dashwood Fire Hall Replacement Project. For more information on the Alternative Approval Process, visit Alternative Approval Process for Local Government. For details on the approved bylaws, visit Bylaw No. 1785 and Bylaw No. 1789.

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