Fire chief Nick Acciavatti has been with the Dashwood Volunteer Fire Department for approximately 25 years.
He has seen the department grow and is excited about the plan to replace the current firehall.
An informational open house was held on Saturday that gave the community a chance to look at conceptual plans and for the replacement hall and to also ask questions. There is another open house to be held July 20 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Dashwood main firehall at 230 Hobbs Rd.
The new hall will cost approximately $4 million to build and will include two drive-through bays that can hold four fire trucks; separate areas for radio communications, 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.
Acciavatti said the community has strongly supported the fire department and he believes this firehall would be a major asset.
“We are hoping to have a fire station that they can be proud of, that we’re fiscally responsible to do the best project with the least amount of funds, so to speak, and can serve the community for the next 50 years,” he said.
The Regional District of Nanaimo has recently received the approval from the Inspector of Municipalities to proceed with the Alternative Approval Process to borrow $4 million to build a new firehall for the Dashwood department.
Residents in the Dashwood Fire Hall Service Area within portions of Electoral Areas F (Coombs, Hilliers, Errington), G (Dashwood, Englishman River, French Creek) and H (Shaw Hill, Deep Bay, Bowser) have been notified of the altnernative approval process.
Electors who are against the project are required to submit elector response forms to the RDN administration office located at 6300 Hammond Bay Rd., Nanaimo, BC, V9T 6N2. The deadline is by 4 p.m. on Friday, July 26. The region has 1,751 eligible electors and if less than 10 per cent (175) submit a form to the RDN by deadline, the regional district may proceed with adoption of the bylaws that would allow the project to move ahead. If 175 or more electors submit signed forms by the deadline, then the project will not go forward.
The forms with complete instructions can be obtained on the RDN website at www.rdn.bc.ca/alternative-approval-process-bylaw-1785-bylaw-1789(External link) and at the RDN office. They cannot be submitted by email or by fax as original signatures are required.