Fate of Nanoose fire hall up in the air

Open house slated to discuss issues

The Regional District of Nanaimo will ask rural residents if they like the idea of spending $3.2 million for a new fire hall in Nanoose Bay.

The Nanoose Bay Fire Protection Society is hosting an open house this Saturday giving residents a chance to view the current fire hall before a referendum decides its fate later this month.

On Saturday, March 26, Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN)  electors within Electoral Area E (Nanoose Bay), portions of Electoral Area F (Peterson Road area), and Electoral Area G (Rivers Edge development area), will be asked if they are in favour of borrowing $3.2 million to tear down the current fire hall and construct a new one.

Director of area E, George Holme, said although the amount of money needed may sway some resident’s votes, ultimately the current hall isn’t up to snuff and wouldn’t stand up in the case of an earthquake. 

“It’s a seismic upgrade,” he said, “after what was in the news today [about the earthquake in Japan] I think it is very important.”

If approved, the new hall would use earthquake resistant structural material and meet post-disaster requirements of the BC Building Code. It would have improved space for training and equipment storage and use energy efficient heating and cooling with water source heat pumps, reducing emissions of the current system by 95 per cent. 

Property taxes for local residents would be increased by an estimated $13.70 a year based on $100,000 of property value if the hall were approved.

Holme said if the new hall doesn’t get the green light he’s not sure what actions the RDN board of directors would take next.

The open house at the Nanoose Bay Fire Hall happens from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday, March 19.

For more information about the referendum visit www.rdn.bc.ca.

 

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